Campsites closed in Northampton

NORTHAMPTON – Flooding from the Great Sacandaga Lake has closed 60 campsites at the state campground in town, a state DEC official said.

Dave Winchell, public affairs officer with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation District 5, said in an email some reservations have been canceled through July 15.

“Campsite availability is limited as we are doing our best to provide sites to those who have made reservations,” Winchell said in the email.

Winchell said boat launch ramps were flooded and no boats were being rented by the campground.

“The day use area is open to picnicking, but much of it is flooded,” Winchell said in the email.

Hudson River-Black River Regulating District Executive Director Mike Clark said the situation at the campground was expected.

“That is not uncommon, given the elevation,” Clark said.

However, Clark said he does not consider the lake to be flooding, since it is under the spillway.

“The reservoir is doing what it should be doing, and that is flood protection,” Clark said.

Clark said the reservoir was releasing water to steadily lower the level.

“We don’t normally experience these kinds of lake levels,” Clark said.

Clark said the rise is due to increased rainfall this year.

“We have had tremendous rainfall for, I’ve lost track for how long,” Clark said, saying 10 inches of rain had fallen in June alone.

The district said water has risen by more than 3 feet since June 23 on the lake.

Rob Foltan, chief engineer with the regulating district, said water in the lake has risen to 770.7 feet above sea level, higher than the target level of 767.1 feet above sea level.

Foltan said that is not a major problem, considering how much rain has fallen this year.

Foltan said the spillway elevation for the lake is 4 inches higher than its current level.

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