Skiatook Lake's Record Low Water Level Concerns Corps Of Engineers
SKIATOOK, Oklahoma - Skiatook Lake has reached a record low and the drought is to blame. Our mild winter, with little rain or snow, means the lake level has dropped 14 feet.
The Army Corps of Engineers says it is still releasing water but not any more or less than necessary. Area businesses are taking advantage of the low level to get to some work done.
"Matter of fact, we just set a new record for the low level on the lake. Unless we get a lot of rain over the next few months, it's going to continue to drop," said Ross Adkins of the Army Corps of Engineers.
The Army Corps of Engineers' current readings show that the water's elevation is at 700 feet above sea level. A comfortable average is 714 feet.
The Corps says the only cure is rain. And a lot of it.
"Let's face it, the ground out there is very dry. It's going to take some rain to soak up the water enough to get a runoff from the rain," Adkins said.
But businesses on the lake are looking at the glass, or lake, as half full.
"It's an opportunity for us to do some things for the shoreline that we normally couldn't reach," said Ron Howell, CrossTimbers owner.
Howell says the lack of water has helped them get to the bottom of things.
They are taking out trees and excavating shoreline. Things that would be harder to accomplish if the water was higher.
Howell says the level flirted with the record low in 2006. Spring rains brought it back to normal within three weeks. It reached flood levels after five.
"That particular lake does act somewhat like a yo-yo because of that small basin. So it will go up and down and up and down. It's gotten particularly down this time," Adkins said.
It is only January and the spring could bring heavy rains. But the Corps of Engineers says that if we don't get any rain, the lake will reach Drought Level 2, which is about 50 percent full, come late April.