When Warnings Go up, Stay Out Of The Water

When Warnings Go up, Stay Out Of The Water

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High waters such as the ones on Lake Ontario right now can be dangerous, especially when mixed with high winds.

Gail Smith has been a summer resident in Henderson Harbor her whole life.

She says a few times a season this happens: "Too many kids in a boat, not a lot life preservers and we'd always watch those people because the Coast Guard is not always around and we're worried about their safety so sometimes those boats didn't come back."

With waters levels as high as they are, it worries Smith even more.

You might heard one of our weather forecasters, like meteorologist Michelle McLeod say, “but right now we have a lake shore flood warning."

But what does it mean? According to the National Weather Service, it’s a warning that water is going to flood lake shore property. Lake waters are about five feet above normal now and during these warnings waves can be five feet higher on top of that.

That creates a risk for people who might want to take out their boat or go for a swim.

"An increased risk for rip currents, you know the water’s going to be a little more rough,” Mark Knowles said

Knowles was with Jefferson County's Star Rescue team and now assists the New York State Trooper dive team.

Both organizations perform water rescues. Knowles says when these warnings are in affect, not even a seasoned swimmer can fight against the lake's current.

"The wave action against the rocks in the winds can cause some underwater conditions that can make it so the person can't get back."

Knowles also says if you hear of one these lake shore flood warnings, it might be better to enjoy the water from land than to be in it.

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