Flood Control Device Wide Open To Handle Extra Water From Recent Rain, Snow
By Lauren Zeugner
SYRACUSE — Residents around Lake Wawasee have raised concerns regarding lake levels being higher than normal. Chad Jonsson, superintendent for Syracuse Parks and Recreation, explained the gates on the flood control device in Crosson Mill Park are wide open, but the area has received close to 5 inches of rain since Feb. 22. The Syracuse Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for operating the flood control device in Crosson Mill Park.
Jonsson explained there are three buoys located in channels around Lake Wawasee that provide information regarding the water level of the lake. He noted on Feb. 22 all three buoys recorded the lake level was at or below normal.
In addition to Lake Wawasee’s water level, photos of Constitution Pond submitted to The Mail-Journal show it has flooded streets in the area with water going toward the lake. Reports were the water was over the pond’s banks and deep enough ducks were paddling around in it.
The gates on the flood control device are open to the maximum of 27 inches. Jonsson noted water from the lake flows into Turkey Creek and must be regulated in a controlled manner so as not to take out a bridge upstream or cause flooding as it flows through Milford before heading north and flowing into the Elkhart River.
“We’re dumping the water as fast as we can,” Jonsson said. He noted it could take 2-4 weeks before the lake returns to its normal levels depending on the precipitation the area receives in the next few days.