Officials in Central New York Warn of Dangerous Levels on Oneida Lake
Due to remnants of Hurricane Henri and several weeks of heavy rainfall, officials are warning of dangerous water levels for Oneida Lake.
Sheriffs from Oneida, Madison, Oswego and Onondaga Counties have announced a joint travel advisory for no unnecessary travel on the lake. Oneida Lake is so large in size that in encompasses all four of those counties. Every part of the lake is higher than normal.
Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol says the high levels could cause lake shore flooding and hidden potential dangers in the lake. Large rocks and stone shore lines are examples of some of the dangers that could be not visible to passing boats or other watercraft. Another risk is the wake caused by those boats and other watercraft.
It doesn't take much wake to cause problems for business or property owners. Sheriff Maciol says the wake from passing water crafts could lead to damage to shoreline properties and Maciol warns owners of passing boats are civilly and criminally responsible for any damage caused to property.
Madison County Sheriff Todd Hood said in a statement,
We know that it is peak time for water recreation here in our community, but with the rain we just had and the anticipation of more rain and wind from Hurricane Henri, we are asking people to be cautious. Please do not go out on the water in a boat at this time. We hope that the water levels will recede in a few days. This is for your safety, and that of our first responders.
In addition to the no unnecessary travel advisory, Maciol is reminding residents that with warm weather continuing this week anyone who may use the lake for swimming should use an abundance of caution. Currents could be stronger with high water levels and a personal flotation device, or life jacket, is always recommended when on or near the water.
Maciol added, "The NYS Canal Corp has already closed many of the locks within the canal system and more closures are anticipated." It would be worth it for everyone to use caution on or around any waterway as heavy rain can make those bodies of water unpredictable.