Flood Waters Keep Keystone Lake Boat Ramps Closed During 4th Of July Weekend

Thursday, July 4th 2019, 8:12 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

The Fourth of July is usually a huge holiday for boaters, but historic flooding has put a damper on some traditional holiday plans.
Keystone Lake is still about 25 feet higher than normal.
People who usually take their boats out can't this holiday because every single boat ramp at Keystone Lake is still closed. 
"It's really quiet. Normally this parking lot is full," said a lake-goer.
Floodwaters cover boat docks and ramps this Fourth of July.
Pier 51 Marina General Manager Sean Adair said it's frustrating, but something that is out of his control. 
"Everybody is choosing to have them closed for this weekend," Adair said about the boat ramps. "They're saying safety is number one. We're still launching customers' boats and putting them in the slips."
Park rangers have been ticketing drivers who ignore road barricades leading to closed ramps. Their concern is people ruining the flooded asphalt, resulting in pricey repairs once the waters recede.
Troopers said the tickets for going past the barriers are $240. 
"Our slip customers are coming out, our docks are pretty full, our gas dock's open, we're selling fuel-- so were making lemonade today," Adair said. 
Slip owners like Karen Decou said they have to take a pontoon to access their boats, bringing gas tanks back and forth from land.
"We have no gas down here, and have no power and gotta run the generators," she said. "It kinda puts a damper, but were making due." 
Troopers are cautioning boaters about debris and sewage floating in the lake after the historic flood. 
But despite the danger and difference this holiday, campers and slip owners are making the most of the 4th of July. 
Pier 51 and the Keystone Harbor joined forces for their fireworks show this year.
There will be shows tonight, tomorrow and Saturday, and then a boat parade Saturday as well.