CARLTON – George Lacey and his employees have emptied Captain’s Cove of all the bait, fishing lures and other merchandise.
The rising Oak Orchard River has submerged his docks, and flooded part of the building on the river. The furnace in the building is underwater.
Captain’s Cove includes 14 motel rooms and many of the people who had planned fishing trips for the LOC Derby have cancelled motel rooms and a spot at one of Captain Cove’s 21 dock slips.
The high waters and the flooding are battering his business, Lacey said today.
“Normally we’re full for the derbies,” he said this afternoon.
The water damage is going to force him to take down the marina building on the property, which he acquired in August 2015. He plans to build a new one.
The docks are also twisted and badly damaged from the high water and waves.
“People come here to have fun,” Lacey said. “This isn’t fun for anyone.”
He is working on a claim with his insurance agent, but Lacey said he didn’t have flooding insurance. He doesn’t think too many people do. It’s rare to have the Oak Orchard and Lake Ontario turn so destructive to property, not like what’s happening now.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, told members of the Albion Rotary Club today. He updated the group, which includes some residents near the lake, about the problem.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said about the damage. “It’s something one never expects to see.”
Hawley visited property owners in Orleans County and Hamlin last Friday, when waves were crashing against the shoreline.
He is hopeful there can be some direct financial assistance for the property owners, but right now there isn’t, he said.
Some of the lakeshore residents were disappointed when they went to see a mobile command center from the State Department of Financial Services, which is set up at the Orleans County Marine Park on Route 98 in Point Breeze. The center will have staff at the Marine Park today from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today.
Residents were hoping the state officials would have good news with assistance with breakwalls or funding for some of the property damage.
But the state agency is there to help people submit insurance claims. If people are denied from their insurance company for a valid claim, an official at the command center said the state agency could help challenge that denial.
Mike Walsh, a lakeshore resident at Point Breeze, said he was disappointed by the Department of Financial Services. He said residents know how to work with their insurance company to submit a claim. He said residents need more direct assistance.
Walsh said his home now has mold and other problems from the flooding.
“We’re not done with the damage,” he said. “There’s more damage coming.”