Flooding Takes Toll On Historic Lighthouse In OgdensburgPosted: Updated:
Blair Roethel lives in a house attached to the historic Ogdensburg Harbor Lighthouse.
In 1964, his parents bought the decommissioned lighthouse and the family has cared for it for more than 50 years.
It's nearly 150 years old and helped ships navigate the St. Lawrence River between Ogdensburg and Prescott, Ontario.
"It is on the state and national registry of historical places," he said. "This is a great place to live. This where I raised my three sons and it's just a beautiful spot."
Roethel fixed the inside of the house in the 1990s, but now he's battling what's coming from the outside.
He has to pump a lot of water out of his basement - more than two feet from the river over the last couple of months. The basement flooding has cost him quite a few expensive appliances.
"I've lost the boiler, two hot water heaters, probably the well pump," he said.
The well flooding has forced Roethel to live off bottled water. That's why he's getting help from Neighbors of Watertown, which has money for flood victims in Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties.
"They've taken my name and number and now we're just waiting for all the paperwork to go through," he said.
While waiting, Roethel says he's still assessing the flood damage from erosion and washed up debris.
Roethel says his main concern is how all of this flooding is affecting the foundation of his home and this historic lighthouse.
"The river has to go down, and after that, just assessing the damages to the house and try to get life back to normal," he said.
Homeowners can call Neighbors of Watertown at 315-782-8497 to see if they're eligible for state flood relief.