Troopers Facing Challenges Patrolling Flooded Oklahoma Lakes

Saturday, July 6th 2019, 9:53 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

Flooding on several Green Country Lakes--and now added rain--have made it tougher for troopers to patrol the lakes, and forced many usual holiday lake-goers to forego their boating for the weekend.

Troopers say Fourth of July weekend is usually one of their busiest to pull over drunk boaters and respond to calls.

This year it’s a different scene. With boat ramps closed, less people are on the water, and it’s tougher for them to patrol.

"This weekend we still have the high water. Keystone and Kaw Lake are especially high.”

Marine trooper Amy Cobalt said it’s been a different sort of holiday weekend with flooding keeping many typical boaters away. 

“With the water so high, the boat ramps are closed," Cobalt said. "We’re doing what we can as far as patrolling.”

Cobalt said the ramps being closed makes it tougher for troopers to get out on the water too, so they're going out as needed.

“Mostly responding to calls," she said. "Lake activity is down from what it normally is at Keystone.”

Cobalt said flooding brings many dangers in the water.

“It's gonna be very dangerous for them to be in the water with the debris. You might run into it with your boat so it may cause damage.”

And then there’s a risk of what else could be lurking in floodwaters.

“The sewage and water quality is very poor, as with any flooding,” Cobalt said.  

But she said weather that can roll in at any moment can create even more of a problem. 

With several recent drownings in Oklahoma, she is urging precaution.  

“Be safe, have your safety equipment, wear your life jackets--especially when the weather gets bad. Watch the weather and get off before the storms come in,” she warned.

Cobalt wants to remind people that OHP offers free boating safety classes.

For more information on that, call 918-681-4959.