Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Greenwood Lake near Normal

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Greenwood Lake near Normal

Article excerpt

WEST MILFORD -- Whew: Greenwood Lake is nearly back to its normal water levels after a prolonged scare.

The lake had been drawn down last winter per routine to allow dock repairs and weed control. But lack of snowmelt and a dry spring left the lake far below normal levels for recreational use and posing potential disaster for the local tourist economy.

Many marina and business owners suffered early losses, but interviews on Friday found at least some appear to have weathered the storm -- or lack thereof -- that plagued the start of this year's boating season.

The lake is now only 6 inches lower than it typically is at this time of year, and unless severe heat and dryness dominate the summer, there should be no obstacles for businesses, boaters and tourists for the rest of the season, said Moosehead Marina Owner William Link.

"I ... look at the parking lots to see if they are full, and they were full," Link said when asked how the last few weeks of business have gone. "Once this water level stabilizes, the season will just be a normal season."

In the spring, the Greenwood Lake community braced for devastation: the 9-mile-long lake, a weekend and day-tripping destination for water lovers in Passaic and Bergen counties, was 3 1/ 2 feet below its usual level. That made it impossible even for people to get their boats in the water.

The lake was low because of a chain of events that began last fall. That's when the 11-member Greenwood Lake Commission began a four-month drawdown, done every four or five years to help prevent weed growth and allow lakefront property owners to repair fixed docks and bulkheads.

But with the mild winter, there was no melting ice or snow to refill the lake. And no one could have predicted that the first three months of 2012 would be the warmest and third-driest on record.

As a result, Memorial Day, usually the first big day of the season, was a bust. …

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