Updated: 05/21/2014 6:00 PM
Created: 05/21/2014 10:58 AM WHEC.com
In the wake of last week’s storm, much of Yates County is still in cleanup mode. If the rain wasn’t enough, now there is a ban on boating on Keuka Lake. The timing couldn’t be worse. This weekend is Memorial Day, a big kickoff for boating season.
All motorized boats are banned from getting out on Keuka Lake.
Bill Holgate said, “It’s really the start of the whole boating season.”
Memorial Day weekend is a kickoff boaters won't get this year. The Yates County Sheriff says no power boats until the water recedes. Last week's heavy rainfall and flooding caused the water to rise more than two feet and it is covering many docks.
Ron Spike, Yates County Sheriff, said, “We've got a lot of debris floating around out there, from stumps, to logs, to pieces of docks. You name it. We've had trees in the lake anywhere from eight to forty feet long floating around out there.”
Sheriff Ron Spike says a state of emergency is still in effect in Yates County. He says another reason for the ban is out-of-towners hitting the lake without understanding the destruction left by last week's storm.
Sheriff Spike said, “We've had many boaters come in from outside the region, not local folks, that are not obeying the five mph rule, so we've got to take it a step further to enforce that.”
Another concern is the weather, but not due to rain. Instead, sun and warmer temperatures are in the forecast for this holiday weekend.
Holgate said, “To have a boating ban on Keuka and really nice weather definitely could be a real problem for some people, just because it is a big kickoff weekend.”
The sheriff says there are exceptions to this. If you need to use your boat or if there's an emergency, you're asked to call the Yates County Sheriff's Office before getting out on the water.
The sheriff says anyone who violates this ban could be charged with disorderly conduct.
If you're boating on Canandaigua Lake or Honeoye Lake, Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero is urging boaters to stay below five miles per hour and stay clear of the shoreline because of floating debris and submerged docks.
Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike is also ordering public boat launch sites in Penn Yan and Branchport to be closed.