Jay McConaughy's family lived along Lake Erie for 70 years with no major flooding.

So he and his wife, Patty, renovated the cottage and moved there full time -- only to be flooded twice in less than a month. 

"We put all this money into it now, and this is happening when it was not happening before,” Patty said. “And that's the hard part, because here we thought we had a nice home, and sold our home in town, and now we have to worry about water coming at it."

They got walloped by a storm on Halloween night, one that changed the shape of Lake Erie and set the stage for their current problems. 

"So it built up, if you will, like a great big dam of stone that won't let the lake come out front,” Jay said. “So it comes around, and it gets to a pinch point, so you're trying to get all this water out through a very small area, and it just doesn't happen."

Sixteen-mile creek is supposed to empty into lake Erie, but because of lake erosion, it's now moved inland and has taken over the McConaghy's backyard. 

Right now, they're powerless to stop it.

They want to re-route the creek, but they can't touch it without permission from the state. 

"If they would let us open that up and let us build a wall, we might be able to live here and not have to worry,” Patty said. “But we can't right now."

Instead, all they can do is worry and pray for calm weather. 

"Any time I see a gale warning come up -- until we get ice on that lake -- we're going to be worried," Jay said.