Lake front business owners remain positive despite flooding

May 25, 2019

Alison Mayer paints a sign that reads "Open for Gas" in an attempt to attract customers to Mayer's Marina.
Credit Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Business along the lake shore are trying to get the word out that they are open for business, despite high water levels.

Allison Mayer is the manager of Mayer's Marina. The business is on Lake Road in Webster, right between the Irondequiot Bay and Lake Ontario. She says they took a hit in the 2017 floods, but also that they were better prepared when the water started to rise this year.

"The customers that went through this with us last time are more resilient, maybe we're all a little bit more resilient. I don't want to admit that because I'm not happy with what's happening but we've been through this before, we know what to do this time."

Much of the property at Mayer's is under a few inches of water, but they've fashioned walkways out of pallets and plywood. Their docks and shop and gas pump are still open.

Mayer hopes a hand-painted sign will remind customers that they can fill up their boat at the marina, even though the reduced speed limit on the bay might keep people off the water during the holiday.

On the other end of the bay, at BayCreek Paddling Center, Manager Morgan Knapp says they were also affected in the 2017 floods, but that had more to do with perception than the water.

Dave Hulburt and Morgan Knapp are managers at BayCreek Paddling Center.
Credit Veronica Volk / WXXI News

"One of the things that a lot of our customers were stating by the end of the summer was, 'We didn't think that we were open, we didn't think that we would be able to get out on the water and paddle.' Actually the opposite is true."

Knapp says the high water has blocked their access to the bay, but actually opened up a lot of other other channels in the creek to make for better kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding.

Knapp, Mayer, and other business owners say they've taken to social media to get the word out, and hope that people come out for the summer season.

Lake Ontario is more than two feet above average and is expected to continue to rise over the next two weeks.