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Lake levels too high for motorized boats

Penn Yan, N.Y. -- The Yates County sheriff has banned motorized boats from Keuka Lake.

Sheriff Ron Spike said water levels were dangerously high and the storms washed debris into the lake.

"We could have a life safety issue, we could have a drowning, or we could have a boat severely damaged," said Spike.

Spike told 13WHAM Lake Keuka is 2 feet above average. The water is receding about an inch per day. He said the water level is unlikely to recede in time for the holiday weekend.

"Normally it's a big kickoff for boats, so everybody really tries to get their boats in by Memorial Day," said Bill Holgate, who boats on the Finger Lakes. "It's kind of the start of the whole boating season."

Holgate said while he is disappointed, he'll follow the rules. The Keuka Lake Association also supports the sheriff's decision.

The ban is not expected to be lifted until the middle of next week.

"For a lot of people, it's a real family adventure and you know they pack everything up get trailered and come to the lake," said Holgate.

Spike said boaters who violate the ban may be charged with disorderly conduct.

If anyone must move a boat on Keuka Lake, call the sheriff's office at (315) 536-4438.

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Washington Times