Repeated storms and flash floods lash Yates County again
YATES COUNTY -- After a spring and summer plagued with "microburst" windstorms and intensely localized flash flooding that washed out roads, flooded basements, and damaged lakefront properties, now fall has ushered in more flooding with wider, more sustained rainfalls in two storms coming off the Atlantic.
The last week of October saw rainfall totals for the month in the Keuka and Seneca Lake watersheds exceed 9 inches, with more rain to start November. With the ground already saturated, several roads along Keuka Lake and in Middlesex were closed due to flooding and fallen trees, with some remaining closed due to land subsidence. Lake levels on Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga have risen to their highest since the flooding in the spring of 1993 when the runoff from a heavy late blizzard was accelerated and exacerbated by heavy rains.
Damage to temporary docks still in the water, boats still in lifts, and some permanent docks now underwater, have been widespread. Levels of flow in the Keuka Lake Outlet (hampered by the broken Gate 1 at Penn Yan) and the N.Y. State Barge Canal are at a current maximum, but levels are only coming down gradually. Low-lying properties between Seneca and Cayuga lakes are already flooded. Fortunately, a period of relatively dry weather is forecast for the coming weeks.