Black Lake Sees Worst Flooding In Decades

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Black Lake homeowner Stephen Dority is reeling from the effects of flooding on his shoreline home.

"Most all of us don't have insurance so we're going to have to bite the bullet," said Dority.

Black Lake water levels are up between 5 and 6 feet higher than normal - flooding seasonal camps and homes along the shoreline.

A thick ice cover still remains in places on the water, creating even more worries.

"The ice will cause more damage than high water if it floats in," said Steve Robinson, Black Lake resident.

The fast snow cover meltdown has resulted in a surge of water flowing down the Oswegatchie River.

And with forecasts of between one and two inches of rain expected over the next couple of days, the water could rise even more.

"We'll be looking at some increases along the Oswegatchie as well as the Raquette and the Grasse River," said St. Lawrence County Emergency Services Director Michael LeCuyer.

The wrath of the Oswegatchie River is being felt both upstream and downstream, including at Eeel Weir State Park, which is partially submerged in water.

"We've got maybe 13 sites on the front half. The back half is completely gone," said Thomas Rogers of Eel Weir State Park.

Travel trailers left at Riverlane Campgrounds over the winter are now inundated by water as large chunks of ice and other debris floated down the river.

"The last time it was like that - 1993," said Eddie Besio, who lives along the river.

Some Black Lake residents forced from their homes are staying with relatives while others are hanging tight hoping to ride the floodwaters out. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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