ITHACA, N.Y.—Cayuga Lake’s surface water level has dipped below the Flood Warning limit and the Tompkins County Department of Emergency Response has canceled flood warnings related to the lake.
The lake has consistently been above or bobbing around the 383.5 foot flood warning threshold since a day of rain on Oct. 26. The weather event saw flooding across Tompkins County and the region, largely due to the rain running off the already saturated ground. Between Oct. 26 and Oct. 27, Ithaca only saw about 2.9 inches of rain, but without anywhere to go but the creeks, the effects of the consistent drizzling were torrential.
As a result of these rains, lake levels peaked at a daily mean of 384.66 feet on Nov. 1. With some fits and starts, surface levels have been trending down, but 384.66 feet is a record-breaker. It’s the highest average daily surface level ever recorded on Cayuga Lake for the month of November.
Usually, Cayuga Lake sees its surface levels rise with the rains and snow melt of spring. Its maximum elevation is recorded at 386.46 feet on April 26, 1993. Based on data from the United States Geological Service (USGS), Cayuga Lake’s November surface level is usually between 381 and 382 feet. Cayuga Lake’s November surface level only saw surface levels rise above 383.5 ft—let alone up to 384.55 ft—in 1996 and 2006.