'It's the worst ever,' said Mike Deuel, director of golf. 'Right now, we only have two greens that aren't under water. The rest of the course is 5 feet upwards to 20 feet under water.'
Tournament officials faced a similar hurdle a year ago. En-Joie was still recovering from the shellacking it took from the remnants of Hurricane Ivan when heavy rains struck in early April. The precipitation sent the Susquehanna, which runs near one side of the course, more than 11 feet above flood stage at nearby Vestal.
It's worse this time. Deuel said the latest forecast called for the river to crest Wednesday night at around 32 feet, which would be 13 feet above flood stage.
'From all accounts, it's the worst flood in the history of Vestal,' Deuel said. 'It's going to be 3 feet higher than it was last year.'
According to the National Weather Service, in 2005 the Susquehanna reached its highest level since the Great Flood of 1936, which devastated the Northeast and left more than 400,000 people homeless.
That storm left 6 to 8 feet of water on 75 percent of the golf course. Only the greens on five holes were not under water, and six acres of fairway turf also were submerged. It took almost two weeks for all the water to leave the course.
But that was in April. The B.C. Open, which is being eliminated from the PGA Tour after this year, is scheduled to begin in three weeks, on July 20. Showers and thunderstorms were forecast for three more days.
'We only have 17 or 18 days, but we're going to try our best,' Deuel said. 'What we find underneath, we'll have to wait four to seven days just to assess that. But it's still too early to call.'
For Andrew Cain, in his first year as supervisor at En-Joie, Wednesday was a short day. He left early.
'There's nothing he can do. We were just watching the water rise,' Deuel said. 'He'll be in tomorrow, and we'll watch it rise again.'
Named after the cartoon strip, the B.C. Open has been a PGA Tour stop since 1972 but has struggled financially in one of the smallest markets on tour and without a corporate sponsor. It fell victim to the major modifications to the tour schedule beginning in 2007.
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