Could high lake water levels ruin beach season?

May 17, 2017 11:34 PM

The water level of Lake Ontario is about two feet above average and it's not looking like it's going to recede anytime soon.

With temperatures in the 80s on Wednesday, you may be starting to think about a visit to our area beaches. But will the beaches be able to open this year?

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"We just wanted to see how high the water was after all the flooding," said Lisa Dejoy, Rochester.

Taking advantage of the warm weather, Lisa Dejoy took nine-month-old Jaxon out in Charlotte Beach on Wednesday for the very first time. She was surprised with how high the water has gone up. "We walked down today and there was just big waves splashing over at the end so we had the stroller so we brought him back. We didn't want him to get too wet."

Almost half of what was the beach is now underwater.

"The water level is a little concerning, you know, how far the water is coming up," says Jared Kates.

The parts of the parking lot, lawn, and even what's left of the sandy beach look more like ponds. The rising water levels are also hurting local businesses.

"A lot of anxiety, we ended up closing, not knowing if we're able to contain the water which we have to this point been successful with," says Terry Testa, Pelicans Nest owner.

So will the beaches be ready this summer? Monroe County's director of parks says "yes." Crews have been working hard.

"This year we had more debris on that beach once the snow went away and after those storms that we had, more debris than we've ever had," says Director of Parks Larry Staub. "We got majority of that cleaned up."

And come June 23, once summer arrives, Staub says, "Rest assured, even if there's a tiny sliver of beach, we will be open for swimming."

"You got to avoid the water and you got a lot of wet sand here, but you know, you try to enjoy it as much as you can," says Kates says.

The county says they will just have to deal with what Mother Nature has in store in the next few weeks.

But the beaches will be open as you've heard from June 23 up until Labor Day as scheduled.


Nina Porciuncula

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