WINONA LAKE – Floodwaters on several lakes are high enough that officials are banning motorized watercraft from above idle speed.
Cooperation is being sought for properties in the Barbee chain and Winona Lake.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources issued the mandate Wednesday afternoon, May 20, for the Barbee Chain, including Kuhn, Big Barbee, Little Barbee, Irish, Sechrist, Sawmill and Banning lakes.
Exemptions are being made for law enforcement, emergency responders and the DNR.
Idle speed restrictions are put into effect when surface water conditions are likely to enter dwelling structures as a result of a wake.
Meanwhile, the Winona Lake Preservation Association is asking boaters on the lake to observe a no-wake policy when using boats or personal watercraft until the water level recedes below the piers to a more normal level.
Many piers are at or underwater and boat waves can cause property damage and cause erosion of the shoreline, said Chris Cummins, WLPA President.
Adding to the problems, Cummins said, is that there are numerous large logs up to 24 inches in diameter along with other debris that is floating and can be hazardous to any boat going faster than idle speed.
Cummins said he believes the area received about four inches of rain in recent days. The lake has crested and should hopefully be near normal by Saturday, he said.