Day by day, even hour by hour, Larry Les Chander can see the change at his Lake Ontario property in the town of Ellisburg.
“Last night, we had about 20 miles an hour winds out of the northwest and I lost about 10 feet of beach in that one overnight period. Yesterday, the water would have been about 10 feet out from where it is today. So this all happened overnight,” he said.
Record high water levels on Lake Ontario are wearing away the beachfront.
In front of Donna Page’s home in the town of Ellisburg, it’s hard to tell a real beach was ever there.
“We have a lot of erosion. We’ve lost probably at least 100 feet of shoreline,” she said.
And as the beach wears away, so do the fragile sand dunes along a four miles stretch of shoreline.
“There’s a crack and that crack is probably going to wear away, probably within an hour. And that’s going to knock down the dune that we have in front of our house,” said Page.
The dunes serve as a barrier between the waves and many shoreline properties.
Nature builds them up over decades. Now they’re being lost in a matter of weeks. How much closer will the water come? Well, some property owners have sandbags in place.
So the question is, how much more beach, how much more of the dunes will be lost? Well, that’s up to the wind and the waves.
“We’re losing five to ten feet of beach every windy day. I’d like to think the worst is behind us but i think the worst is still ahead of us,” said Les Chander.