Wednesday, May 24, 2017

High Water

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
24 May 2017 N21481 SDC (Sodus, NY) - local flight 1.0 1636.2

Record Lake Ontario water levels during this wet spring have dominated local news cycles for weeks.

On the edge of Sodus Bay, the story is well-told from the air.

"Before". Photographed June 14, 2006.

When I first moved to Rochester, I was amazed by the narrow strip of land (Crescent Beach / Knob Island terminating in Charles Point) that separated Sodus Bay from the rest of Lake Ontario. It seemed tenuously perched on the edge of a large, chaotic body of water.

Because of high water levels, what was once a strip of land connecting Charles Point to the mainland is now a chain of islands.

As a result, cottages on Charles Point are completely cut off from the mainland.

Considering that trees don't tend to grow in lakes, lone trees completely surrounded by water give testimony to the flooding.

In addition to inputs from numerous rivers and the surrounding watershed, Lake Ontario receives a significant volume of water from Lake Erie and the western Great Lakes via the Niagara River. Outflow from Lake Ontario reaches the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River. Currently, the International Lake Ontario - Saint Lawrence River Board is releasing 360,200 cubic feet of water per second into the Saint Lawrence in an effort to bring Lake Ontario levels back down. Their challenge is to balance outflow from Lake Ontario with the increased risk of flooding downstream in Montreal, which has already been an issue this spring.

For the sake of my friends and neighbors on the waterfront, I hope things dry up a little as we move into June. But not too much...I also have friends who are farmers!


  1. Wow, at first I thought all those in the water were homes but I think they are boat houses, at least I hope so. Amazing to see the before and after shot.

    1. I went through the same thought process as I circled, Gary. You're right, those are boat houses. Looking at the coloration on the docks leading to them, many of them are under water.