National Guard helps stack sandbags for campground as lake begins flooding

Photos by Tom Rivers: Lake Ontario crashes into the shoreline at Green Harbor Campground in Carlton today. Sandbags remain from two years ago when there was significant flooding and erosion at the campground.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 May 2019 at 3:31 pm

CARLTON – Barb and Don Anderson, owners of Green Harbor Campground and Marina in Carlton, hoped 2017 was just a blip, a one-time event when Lake Ontario flooded the campground, chewing away precious land.

The Andersons spent the fall of 2017 and much of last year raising the land about 3 feet near the lake and Perch Creek. They put in rocks and lots of dirt, restoring washed out land.

Photo courtesy of Barb Anderson: Members of the National Guard stack sandbags along Perch Creek, which is starting to flood into the campground.

Photo courtesy of Steven Anderson: Eight members of the National Guard arrived this afternoon to begin stacking about 1,000 sandbags at the campground, a task that will continue on Friday.

Green Harbor opened for a new season on May 1, and the Andersons have been welcoming back their guests who stay at 86 seasonal sites.

They were all ready for months of relaxation in the quiet campground community off Lakeshore Road, near the Yates town line. But everyone is feeling anxious as Lake Ontario rises.

“We thought they wouldn’t let this happen again, but it’s happening again,” Mrs. Anderson said today, while waiting for the National Guard to arrive to help stack sandbags.

Barb Anderson is worried as Perch Creek starts to flood.

She estimates the family invested about $100,000 in putting in new fill, docks and restoring a jetty. That work with the jetty has already come mostly undone after being knocked away by the hard-charging waves.

The Andersons have owned Green Harbor for 14 years. They didn’t have a flooding problem until two years ago. Last year started to get high, but the lake backed off and it was a good season, she said.

However, the family didn’t charge many of the campers in 2018 after what they endured the previous year. The Andersons wanted to start recovering financially this year.

She appreciates the sand bags which were dropped off by the Carlton Highway Department. They will be stacked along the edge of Perch Creek, hopefully to stop the water from reaching some of the camp sites.

“It’s starting to flood,” she said. “We have to save the land.”

There are about 1,000 sandbags at Green Harbor.

The high waters nearly cover the big rocks at the mouth of Perch Creek at the campground and marina.

There isn’t much room left before the lake reaches this campsite along the shoreline.

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