LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Of the many village businesses positioned right by Lake George, one has seen more water than just what the lake can provide. This week, the business owner is – hopefully – ending a nearly 11-year battle to keep his parking lot dry.
Two large trucks from Ellsworth & Son Excavating Inc. sat on the side of the road on Friday, in front of the Howard Johnson by Wyndham hotel on Canada Street. More vehicles were moving earth, as part of a process that Lake George Mayor Bob Blais hopes will correct a water drainage problem that has plagued the property for the last decade, along a route that leads under the former McDonald’s next door before traveling under Canada Street to the lake. The crew didn’t find quite what the hotelier and the village had expected.
“They’ve made a trench throughout the entire area,” described Blais on Friday. “They discovered that it’s not a pipe. It was laid-up concrete blocks, put in there around 50 years ago, and they had collapsed in three different places.”
As of Friday, the crew had completed digging up the stretch of blocked drainage and were well underway installing new pipe. The work was all on private property, avoiding Canada Street itself. Once it’s done, the town of Lake George will be able to send a camera through the drainage line, all the way to its other end by Lake George, to make sure no other blockages are still waiting in the wings.
The blocked-up drainage route has caused over 20 incidents of flooding over the last decade, according to Howard Johnson hotel owner Mohammad Tariq. Last month, large amounts of rain and high water left a parked truck stranded in the flooded north end of the parking lot, surrounded by about 6 feet of water. Tariq hired Ellsworth & Son personally.
“The owner was very cooperative. We were able to refer him to one of our most reliable excavators, and they got in there the same day we called them,” Blais said.
Water was flowing successfully through the new pipe for the first time on Friday, following a process that started on Tuesday. February’s flooding was the semifinal straw. Tariq’s property was flooded again two weeks ago during a period of rainfall.
The hotel property sits in what has become an unfortunate spot. The parking lot in question is lower than the sloping stretch of Canada Street in front of it. Behind the building and a couple rows of houses, Prospect Mountain stretches up over the village.
In recent years, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation created a parking lot on Prospect Mountain where visitors can park and enjoy the view. That lot is a nice attraction, but also created a redirection of water flow that Blais and Tariq both say lead straight to the hotel parking lot.
With the Howard Johnson problem hopefully circumvented, Blais said he’s not aware of other properties facing the same problem. One other stream carrying water down from Prospect Mountain was identified as problematic several years ago, and was mitigated by the state.