MONTOUR FALLS, N.Y. (WETM) – The U.S. Drought Monitor released its latest map earlier Thursday and it is official, some of the Twin Tiers are now in a moderate drought. All of Schuyler County is affected along with parts of Steuben County and most of Tompkins County.
The rest of the Twin Tiers is still categorized as “abnormally dry” and it seems that it will continue.
One particular famous attraction of the Twin Tiers has been affected in a major way. SheQuaGa Falls in Montour Falls, named by the Seneca People meaning “tumbling waters” is less tumbling and more trickle. The Falls are in a sad state right now and have been for a good three weeks according to the Village Mayor, John King.
“It’s runoff fed, mainly, so we don’t have any snowmelt or we don’t have several days of rain, it eventually almost dries up.” said King regarding the Falls. “After snowmelt or rain, it just roars. So this is really unusual to even hear yourself outside. I think this is only the second or third time that I’ve seen it, this dry.”
Back in the 1930s, the retaining wall was constructed to mitigate flooding, eventually becoming more of an observation wall. However, according to Mayor King, this wall worked in a major way during the Flood of 1972, preventing what would have been devastating flooding to the Village.
Only time will tell when the dry conditions will end in the Twin Tiers. The SheQuaGa Falls is not the only waterfall affected in the Finger Lakes Region, with many other similar dry reports.