Grand Lake Releases More Water, May Flood Oklahoma Residents

Monday, June 24th 2019, 5:11 pm
By: Amy Avery

Grand Lake will be increasing water release into their river system due to the lake level being high.

Grand River Dam Authority has warned people living below the dams to be prepared to leave if the water levels get too high.

People in the Grand Lake area just returned home not long ago because of previous flooding. However, many of them were told they needed to evacuate again due to these increased releases.

“That yellow line is how high it got in December of 2015 and it didn’t get that bad on the 26th of last month but pretty close,” said Jay Patterson, a Strang resident.

Patterson had over a foot of water in his home at the end of May. The water has since gone down but because of the increased water release he was told he needed to leave his home again.

“I just returned about 3 or 4 days later and it came back up into my yard again,” said Patterson.

The Grand River Dam Authority says Grand Lake is very close to max flood stage and because of the heavy rainfall, they’ve had to open several flood gates to release water.

“Normally we are at 744. Were about 11 foot higher than normal right now,” said Justin Alberty with Grand River Dam Authority.

Because the lake level is so high, some boat ramps and camping areas are completely inaccessible.

“Things that are usually along the shore line like a picnic table or a trash can are probably going to be under water right now,” said Alberty.

Alberty said they’ve warned people living along the Neosho river that they may have to evacuate if the water levels get too high.

Patterson was able to get a lot of his belongings out, but because the mold is so bad, he’s going to have to buy a new home and still doesn’t plan on leaving this location even though his home has flooded twice.

“I love it in here. It’s quiet.” Patterson said. “We’ve got the river unfortunately but no I love it in here. We’re just going to make it higher”

GRDA says they hope they won’t have to increase the release levels out of the Pensacola Dam again, but they are working with the Army Corps of Engineers by monitoring the water levels closely just in case.

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