There are obvious signs of destruction — withering crops and gardens, pontoon boats free floating through lakes, channels too high to pass through and beaches that have been covered by water. Local farmers are seeing huge changes in crop conditions, most noticeably where large amount of water have pooled in low points in fields. Kyle Tom of Tom Farms was able to provide a little insight into the effects of rain, specifically on fields of corn.
“When we get this amount of rain, the roots of the corn aren’t able to grow down into the soil,” said Tom, adding that large amounts of wind could then knock over fields of corn crops that haven’t rooted deep enough.Nitrogen is the main source of food for corn, and the huge rainfall amounts remove that precious ingredient from the soil.
There is still hope, according to Tom. Perfect weather conditions to keep corn going strong until harvest would be about 1-inch of rain each week, with temperatures in the high 80s.
The National Weather Service provided rainfall data from its Syracuse location that reaffirms the murmurs of locals. Measured during the period of July 7-20, the normal amount of rainfall is 1.81 inches. The Syracuse location has recorded 8.57 inches for that same period, according to meteorologist Evan Bentley. The normal for the entire month has been set at 4 inches, much lower than the amounts received.
Many local lakes have been placed on speed restrictions by the Department of Natural Resources. Syracuse Lake has not been restricted because there have been no reports made about water entering homes in that area. Those around the lake have been asked to be courteous while traveling the lake, however, as water has reached the seawall and gone over in many cases.
Residents on area lakes have shared photos of piers and boats floating away, and many homeowners have had to remove piers altogether. One pier on Lake Tippecanoe was weighed down with cinder blocks and trash barrels filled with rainwater, to prevent it from floating away.
Even considering the damaging effects some homeowners have experienced because of the rain, there are still many others who appreciate it. Those who enjoy water sports may have to take it slow, but kayaking, paddleboarding and casual, lazy floats in the lakes have become much more calm.
Low-lying areas of the lake have been under for a couple of weeks and it just keeps raining. And yes, the dam at Syracuse is open and the water is going over the spillway too. Wawasee and Syracuse lakes have been more fortunate than Lake Tippecanoe and the Barbees for sure!
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