When it comes to flooding wreaking havoc on the Bay of Quinte shorelines, it’s no secret that the struggle is real for local residents.
For Greg Annesley, the owner of the Boathouse Seafood Restaurant in Belleville, rising water levels and news bulletins about road closures around his 32 South Front Street establishment have impacted business and damaged some of his flooring. Walking around his popular seafood restaurant he bends down and easily lifts a floor board that has peeled after flood waters entered a section of his dining area.
Annesley said in his 17 years of owning Belleville’s only year-round waterfront restaurant, he has never seen the Bay this high and is worried it could become a houseboat if levels continue to rise. Annesley, also the owner of Meyers Pier Patio and BBQ expressed similar concerns about his 1 South Front Street restaurant that he said has witnessed water levels rise to meet the boardwalk. He said adjustments have been made to the roadway to allow for traffic and patrons to come enjoy dinner overlooking the water.
On 1 June, Lake Ontario was 75.87 m, above its long-term average level for this time of year.
Half of Annesley’s Boathouse Restaurant is built on land, the other sits on former boat slips. Since the water has no other place to go but up it has seeped into his restaurant forcing him to close off portions of the dining room and patio.
While he admitted it has been frustrating, a very cheery Annesley maintains he and staff have remained optimistic and open for business the entire time.
City staff, the Belleville Fire Chief and the Ministry of Labour have inspected the restaurant and chief building official Ted Marecak confirmed at this point there is no threat or concern about safety or the integrity of the building.
Meanwhile, Marecak said city officials have also been in close contact with Anchorage condominium board members in recent weeks as the lower level of the parking garage has catch basins that drain storm water out to the bay. He said when they were at the 2 South Front Street location the water at the top of the catch basins was flush with the top of the grate which meant if water came up any more the parking garage would be under water.
“The parking garage in itself is not a big concern,” said Marecak. The main electrical feed for the building is six inches above the floor level in the parking garage. There was an immediate concern there. We also had representatives from Veridian Connections present during discussions and as a result Anchorage board members made a very good decision to build a small concrete block wall in their lower parking garage around the doors into the electrical room.”
In May, city officials cut power to Victoria Park due to concerns of high water levels and the transformer’s close proximity to the water.
On May 26, Quinte Conservation issued its latest flood warning update with General Manager Terry Murphy stating those living on the shorelines of the Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario should continue to see shifting and changing water levels with very little decrease over the next several weeks.
Quinte Conservation continues to monitor conditions closely.