Oklahoma’s lakes and marinas are still feels the economic impact from May’s historic flooding, but with lakes closer to normal levels for the labor day weekend, they’re expecting to rebound.
Employees at Paradise Cove Marina said it may take years to recover from the economic loss from the flooding. However, they’re staying positive and ready for people to enjoy their long weekend.
”The last couple months have been tough with all the flooding.”
Joey Ferland has worked at Paradise Cove Marina in Hulbert for 22 years, and said business suffered this summer because of the flooding.
“The losses are horrible, it’s terrible, but we’re gonna focus on the good news,” Ferland said.
The good news is lake goers are making up for lost time. Fort Gibson Lake is still about 10 feet above normal, but it’s not stopping people from enjoying the water.
“We’ve caught a few good fish,” said Mike McKay.
Mike and Ladonna McKay put their fishing boat in the lake this afternoon, floored it, and cast their lines.
”Right now its ten feet up,” he said. “It’s been a lot higher than that.”
The two have seen the floods change lives of those around them.
”It’s been a lot of devastation,” said Ladonna, “People having to start from new.”
But the McKay’s, and the marina, are ready to make the most of a long and hopefully busy weekend.
”Everybody’s excited to be out here, it’s nothing but good times,” Ferland said.
All the boat ramps at the marina are open, and most camping sites are back to normal too.
The Army Corps said the lake levels should stay the same throughout the weekend unless there is major rain or problems getting the barges out near Webbers Falls.