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Park Commission: Irene swamped more than 100 boats on Lake George

2011-09-02T15:22:00Z Park Commission: Irene swamped more than 100 boats on Lake GeorgeDON LEHMAN -- dlehman@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star
September 02, 2011 3:22 pm  • 

The waves that swamped five boats at Boats by George Marina on Lake George were bad enough.

But even the boats that owner George Pensel had on land Sunday during Tropical Storm Irene couldn't escape its wrath. Six were damaged by falling trees, he said.

"It's just a big mess," Pensel said.

The Cleverdale and Assembly Point areas of Lake George in North Queensbury were among the hardest hit in the region, with high winds not just felling trees but also swamping boats and tearing out docks.

The Lake George Park Commission has estimated that 100 or so boats sank or were swamped by water on Lake George during Sunday's tropical storm.

Michael White, executive director of the Lake George Park Commission, said the commission's staff counted 40 boats down, but, based on anecdotal reports from marinas, they believe at least 100 were knocked out by the storm.

Among them was a boat that broke free from its mooring in Pilot Knob and made it an estimated eight miles south to Million Dollar Beach. It was damaged but salvageable, White said.

The environmental impact on the lake from the submerged boats did not seem major. White said he believed all of the affected boats had been removed from the water as of Friday.

"It's impossible to assess the volume of gasoline that comes out, but we haven't gotten any reports of a sheen," White said.

In some cases, simply pumping out swamped boats was all that was needed to get them afloat again.

Damage was seen up and down the lake, as high winds whipped the water into a frenzy and lake levels rose quickly from nearly 5 inches of rain over about 12 hours.

At Gilchrist Marina in Lake George, owner Ken Graven said he had one pontoon boat swamped, but the winds tore out about 200 feet of dock. He said the business was repaired and open as of Friday.

Boats by George's lakeside location was also open, but Pensel said he was awaiting word from his insurance company on repairs for damaged boats.

The boat owners who were able to get their boats onto boat lifts before the storm made out all right, but in some cases the docks were ripped out around the lifts, Pensel said.

"There were a lot of high-value boats that sustained tremendous damage," he said.

Conditions on the lake remain uncertain, as the Lake George Park Commission has issued a boating advisory. Boaters are urged to take extra care because the lake level is very high from the storm's rain, and there are large amounts of debris in the lake.

The region continued to recover from the storm Friday, with fewer than 100 power outages remaining among National Grid customers as of Friday afternoon. Most were in Minerva, where 43 were still out, with scattered outages still reported in Fort Ann, Chester, Johnsburg, Horicon and Schroon.

Meanwhile, several counties, including Warren and Saratoga, were added to the list of those that will qualify for federal disaster assistance to homeowners, renters and small businesses, according to a press release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office on Friday.

Those who had losses due to the tropical storm can begin applying for assistance by registering online at

disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(1) Comments

  1. nottheaverageguy
    Report Abuse
    nottheaverageguy - September 03, 2011 12:07 am
    Federal or State assistance should not be used for "luxury items" like the mentioned "high dollar boats" period!!! They can or could have afforded the extra insurance if they can afford high dollar toys, give me a break. No wonder the country is going in the toilet. Help the low income year round residents before any of the rich 2nd home vacationers with expensive toys!!!!

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