No motor order issued as flooding continues along the West Lakes

The "no motor" order was issued because many homes are surrounded by water.

Posted: Jun 25, 2019 9:22 PM
Updated: Jun 25, 2019 10:11 PM

WEST LAKES, Ind. (WFFT) - The Indiana Department of Natural Resources issued a "no motor" order for the West Lakes chain in Noble County Tuesday.

The order was issued because many homes are surrounded by water.

"This was supposed to be us getting ready for the Fourth of July," said Liz Kirby who was laying sandbags around her Waldron Lake home.

She bought the house in September.

"Trying to keep a positive attitude. I feel like we are paying for absolutely nothing," said Kirby.

Flooding along the West Lakes is nothing new.

Two years ago, the water reached record levels.

Since then the West Lakes Association has worked to clear log jams from the Elkhart River to keep water flowing.

Now the U.S. Geological Survey gauge at Waldron Lake is just over flood stage, Kirby said more should be done.

"What we are seeing is not that," she said.

Residents told FOX 55 the water rose significantly in the last week.

"I just think about the river down there. What's going on, what storms come through and how many trees are in it," said Doug Borden, who moved to Waldron Lake in 2015.

Borden is one of many volunteers who help clear log jams down stream.

Last weekend, he helped clear out 35 trees, but said more work needs to be done.

"I would say yes it is frustrating. The biggest thing is closing the lake down is the most frustrating part," Borden said.

Borden doesn't have in boat in the water yet, in fact most of his neighbors have their boats sitting in their driveways.

Until Tuesday, people could only go at idle speed on the lakes.

Now no motor boats are allowed, however paddle boats are.

"Everybody wants to enjoy the lake. It is why we are up here," said Borden.

The "no motor" order is in place until farther notice.

The West Lakes Association boat parade will be held next week as scheduled only if the motor ban has been lifted.

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