Honeoye Valley Association

Lake Level opinion for May 2014

May 28, 2014 9:16 PM | Dan Lalonde (Administrator)

Thanks to Jack Starke for the following input and opinion about the high water levels in Honeoye Lake and surrounding Richmond areas:

The  Honeoye Lake level has returned to the level from just before the rapid rise that began from 803.83 on 5/16 12:30 AM and  peaked at 805.29 on 5/17 9;00 AM. That is an increase of 1.56', which is significant.

To put this in perspective with previous lake high levels, it is the third highest: 1993- 805.4, 1955- 805.6, and the granddaddy of them all during Agnes 1972- 806.5. Since the water rose so rapidly I also looked at our lake level data since 2005 and there were three occasions in the 10 years where the lake level increased by over a foot in a short period of time in 2005, 2007, and 2010. The unique aspect of this years event was the timing. All of the other rapid increases in lake level were in March-April timeframe during snow melt and spring rains when no one's dock was underwater, so that it happened largely unnoticed. Hence, this years storm event was significant, but not unprecedented.

Since the weir is at 803.5 it in no way impeded the flow. This was a significant wide area  storm which caused significant flooding in both Penfield and Penn Yan.The precipitation was 2.5 inches  on 5/16 as measured at the Ontario County Sewer plant in Honeoye. The widespread precipitation over the the Honeoye Lake watershed in addition to all of the surrounding watersheds just overwhelmed the ability of Honeoye Creek and the Genesee River to handle this amount of water. This was evident in the first day of the storm when the intersection of CR37 at the junkyard was flooded, which has not happened since CR 37 was rebuilt a couple of years.

I know there are plans to clean out the outlet stream north of Rt. 20A and this is certainly a good thing to do.Although I don't have any proof, it may have impeded   flow several days after the start of the storm. I have seen a picture of a bulldozer that must have been at least 8' tall going under the bridge the last time it was cleaned out. I don't think it would fit today. 

This is my take on the lake level response to this recent storm, but I am not an expert in hydrology. OCSWCD andNYS-DEC might be a source for a more educated explanation.
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