Water-Related News

Lake County Water Authority: Dam not cause of rising lake levels

CLERMONT – Some lakes that have left homeowners high and dry for nearly a decade are suddenly nearing flood stage. It’s a dramatic turnabout in Lake County, in just a matter of months. Now people who live in the Clermont area are wondering what happened.

At Clermont’s Waterfront Park, shortly after the city opened a swimming area at Lake Minneola in early 2012, receding water and below-average rainfall since 2005 had people wading next to deep water warning buoys. Things only got worse—that is, until last summer.

Now the situation is almost completely the opposite. Signs at the beginning of the beach are now underwater. Water at the same park has swallowed the beach and is now rising near swingsets. Boat docks, which had been over sand, are now accessible from the water for the first time in years.

“Do they block it somewhere where they hold the water in. Is there some way they do that?” Dennis Larkin asked looking at the lake.

“There are no locks, no structures, no dams anywhere south of Lake Louisa, or anywhere south of Lake Minneola for that matter," said Lake County Water Authority Executive Director Michael Perry. "There is nothing artificially holding water back.”

Perry charts the lake levels and said Lake Minneola and Lake Minnehaha have risen four feet since July. He said the rise mostly corresponded with rainfall totals. The lakes continued to rise in December as water continued flowing.