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High Lake Levels Can Make for Hazardous Boating Conditions

Since our wet streak began in mid- May, Lake Champlain water levels have been on the rise.

Since our wet streak began in mid- May, Lake Champlain water levels have been on the rise.

And as the levels inch closer to flood stage - the high water presents a new set of safety issues.

Something Jake Dwinell knows all too well.

"You get these big logs that were sitting on the river bank floating up now. And they are getting swept up the river. So you have these big logs that you have to try and dodge,"" said Dwinell.

Because damage could come with an expensive price tag.

"It can cause you to lose a prop which is 300 dollars right there. And out drives which will destroy your boat," said Dwinell.

"I've hauled a few boats with some minor damage. Generally it is minor- they hear something or feel something. no holes or sinking yet," said Bruce Deming, General Manager at Champlain Marina.

And right now lake levels are close to flood stage where water sits at 99.28 feet high.

At Champlain Marina there's evidence of the lake levels- even before you reach the boats.

"We had to extend ramp ways and accesses accommodate dry feet so to say," said Deming.

So what's the best advice for boaters?

"Pay attention. Look where you're going. Don't try and rush anything," said Dwinell.

Flood stage for the lake is 100 feet and Lake Champlain is less than an inches from hitting that mark.

The lake reached 103 feet in May of 2011; but experts say it's never been above 100 between June and August.

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