Lake Ontario water levels have business owners worried they "could lose everything"

Posted at 7:33 PM, Jul 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-05 19:33:28-04

The Green Harbor Marina and Campgrounds in Lyndonville is rather empty for this time of year. Water still covers portions of the docks and 24 camping trailers are inaccessible due to persistent flooding.

“On 4th of July it usually looks like Myrtle Beach," explained Deb Anderson. She and her husband Don own the marina. "There are people everywhere. We usually have a bonfire and a DJ. This year we couldn’t do any of that.”

The Andersons are dealing with the aftermath of wind and rain storms that devastated the Lake Ontario shore earlier this year. High water levels and whipping winds combined to flood many shoreline communities and the Green Harbor Marina was no exception.

“This year just really took a toll on us," Deb Anderson said. "We don’t know what to do. All we’re doing is trying the best we can. If something doesn’t work, we try it another way.”

In order to regain access to the beach, the Andersons brought in $15,000 worth of gravel to fill in the flooded parking lot and raise it by three feet. But many campsites near the water remain flooded and another road on the property is still under several feet of water.

“It’s going down slowly," Deb said. "It went down maybe 4 or 5 inches. But it needs to go down feet before I can get these people in here.”

She isn't sure if the water will drop enough to get those two dozen campsites open again this season. And instead of the 40 or so boats docked in the marina during a normal summer, only three could be found Wednesday. The Andersons are worried about how they'll keep the marina open going forward.

“We’re worried about next year," Deb said. "If this is going to happen again, we’re going to have to do something. We’ll need to move all these trailers and add dirt to make it so they can use it. Because if we don’t we could lose our business completely.”

The Andersons are left picking up the pieces and hoping for some relief or assistance from the federal and state governments. They won't know the full extent of the damage until the water recedes, but say early estimates have it well over $100,000.