Marty Chicoine and his crew are very busy this summer. At Docks and Moorings Plus, phones are ringing off the hook for private docks to be moved off shore and further out into the water.
"It's a juggling act," Chicoine said. "We're always adjusting docks, moving them out, putting them up, putting them down; there's a lot."
Using a barge, Chicoine and his crew maneuver boats or add mooring blocks to extend docks out.
"I haven't seen it like this in about 15 years, level-wise," Chicoine said.
The problem started this winter. A lack of snow meant less runoff into streams, sending less water into Lake Champlain. And there hasn't been enough rain to raise the level to its average height. Right now the lake is at 94 feet-- more than a foot below where it usually is this time of year.
"The docks are having to be moved up and reset up and twisted out a little bit. We're dropping more moorings for people," Chicoine said.
Medium-sized boats are struggling to reach their docks, and although moving the docks out isn't rare, Chicoine says the low water levels this summer can mean detrimental problems to these boats.
"You can ruin your outdrive," Chicoine said. "You can actually put holes in the bottom of your boat, which is not good at all."
Andrew Loconto, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service, says this problem is not going to last.
"I would expect kinda the levels to start to rise again starting late this summer and into early fall, and continue to steadily kind of climb into the winter," Loconto said.
In the meantime, Chicoine expects to be busy the rest of the summer.
The lowest lake level ever recorded was 92.6 feet back in 1908.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:36 PM EDT2013-05-21 16:36:47 GMT
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