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A sunny day in Charlotte: Pelican's Nest open, boaters being reminded of no wake zone

(WHAM photo)

Charlotte, N.Y. - The Monroe County Sheriff's Office is reminding boaters about the "No Wake Zones" order in Irondequoit, Penfield and Webster.

Fred Kirkpatrick sailed from Sodus Point to dock his friend’s boat at a marina in Charlotte because the Sodus Point Bay Marina is flooded.

“Coming here, there were a lot of high waters,” he said. “It was a slow path until we got deep into the lake, and we could pick up speed."

It took three hours to get to his destination, traveling at 25 miles per hour.

“There were a lot of waves,” Kirkpatrick said. “It was very, very rough out there today. Huge swells."

Waves extended as high as three to four feet.

Two Monroe County Sheriff's marine boats were out on the lake on Wednesday. They were checking for floating debris and reminding boaters and those on jet skis to watch their speeds.

“There is no wake zone from shore to 500 feet out,” said Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn. “Once you get to 500 feet, you can go five miles per hour to exit then bay."

Normal speeds from the shore are 300 feet out.

“You got to idle,” Kirkpatrick said. “You can't even do five miles per hour. And in the wind, it just blows you around. It's tough to maneuver. It's all a challenge. I've been around here all my life boating. It's just very weird.”

A state of emergency remains in effect for the towns of Webster, Irondequoit and Penfield for 30 days. This is being done to minimize the damage on lakefront homes.

“Well, you got to do it,” Kirkpatrick said. “You got to obey the rules. If you go fast to shore, they'll come and get you."

O’Flynn is also warning boaters they are responsible for the damage that they cause.

Also in Charlotte, just in time for summer-like temperatures, the Pelican's Nest is back open, and customers are now able to pull up a chair to riverside seating at the restaurant. It's one of many waterfront businesses impacted by the rising waters of Lake Ontario.

"Everybody is upbeat, the sun is shining, and looking to get back on track,” said Terry Testa, the owner of Pelican's Nest.

Pelican's closed down last Monday because of rising water levels. The parking lot was a small pond.

So, they stacked up to 1,500 sandbags and put in cement barriers to keep river water out.

“It's stress,” Testa said. “We have to play out bills, and when it's not happening, it's tough.”

The restaurant has a staff of nearly a hundred. Testa said most are still there.

“When you're faced with, 'We might not be able to open,' a lot of them couldn't wait," he said.

So, they’ll have to rehire some workers, something he's never experienced in the 22 years he's been here.

“I have Memorial Day weekend week coming up next week for us," Testa said. "We're just looking to move forward.”

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