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After year of record highs, 2012 brings near-record lows for Champlain

Last year, water flowed over the banks of Lake Champlain during record flooding. This year, lake levels are closer to record low marks.

Last year, water flowed over the banks of Lake Champlain during record flooding. This year, lake levels are closer to record low marks.

—  Last season, the waters of Lake Champlain spilled over their usual banks, resulting in severe flooding throughout the region.

On April 28 of last year, the lake level was recorded at 101.88 feet, the first of 48 straight days where a high-water level would be reached.

However, on April 23 of 2012, the lake level was at 96.24 feet, less then one foot above the record low of 95.43 and well below the average of 98.78 feet.

The readings were taken and reported by the National Weather Service out of Burlington, Vt., which monitors Lake Champlain levels.

The weekend rains did lead to a slight increase in the water level of Lake Champlain, but the level was not within 5 feet of where it was 365 days ago.

For the two years, Lake Champlain was at a level of 100.99 feet April 22, 2011, compared to 96.03 feet on the same date in 2012. The record high for the date was 101.36 feet, while the record low was 95.29, less than one foot lower then the 2012 level.

Last year, the high-water mark for Lake Champlain was set on May 6, when the water level reached 103.20 feet, staying fairly level for the remainder of the month.

Water levels started to recede in June, as the last of the daily records was set on June 14, when the lake level measured 100.64 feet.

Following Tropical Storm Irene, the lake levels again reached record marks starting with a reading of 97.74 feet Sept. 5 and continuing through a 97.75 reading Oct. 11.

Lake Champlain started 2012 at 95.99 feet, near the average of 99.53. With a mild and dry winter, the lake reached a low of 95.14 feet on March 8 before climbing to a 2012 high of 97.16 feet March 26.

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