High water levels continue to cause issues across the district for both residents and business owners.
Owner of Kenora’s Northern Harbour on Lake of the Woods, Gary Hall, explains what he’s dealing with at his marina on Northern Harbour Road, near Longbow Lake.
“What we’re seeing is that levels are up from 2014. Our gas dock and area where we use our boat lift is 12” to 15” under the water right now. It’s Mother Nature at her best. We’re going to try to sandbag around them to get the [fuel pumps] working again. But we may not be able to. We’re going to try.”
Hall says sandbags and barrels full of water are being used to hold the marina’s docks in place. Northern Harbour says fuel is currently not available, and septic pump-outs are available by email appointment only.
He adds that one of the biggest issues is that large 40’ to 60’ yachts make large waves in the water, which is damaging the docks they’re attached to. Hall adds that some of his dock poles have been raised by as much as 25” due to the rising water levels.
The Lake of the Woods Control Board says across their catchment area, April and May have been the wettest months on record, causing the flooding situation. Over April and May, 272 mm of precipitation fell, well above the area’s 120-year average of 122 mm.
The board adds that water levels on Lake of the Woods are only about 1.5 ft away from the all-time record highs set back in 1950, and with dams already being fully open, no additional actions can be taken to limit water levels in the region.