Increased Releases At Keystone Dam Now Causing Downstream Flooding

Saturday, May 25th 2019, 8:52 pm
By: News On 6

The Army Corps of Engineers has been increasing the release at Keystone Dam for several weeks now causing some downstream flooding.

Right now it is at about 250,000 cubic feet per second but now the corps is battling erosion on the banks of the river.

William Montgomery snapped a few pictures of the washed away bank just feet away from his camper.

He says they were kicked out and had to move to another campsite on Keystone Lake.

"We usually camp right on the end by the water and its washed away 20 to 25 feet. They are down there trying to stop that right now. I don't know what all is going to have to go into it," said Montgomery.

Dump trucks and big equipment rushed into stack rocks on the bank to make it stable again and try to keep it from washing away even more.

Now the corps of engineers is urging others to be aware along those banks.

Even though parts of the bank are eroding, several people are still out there fishing and law enforcement wants to make sure people have a flotation device on hand. 

"If one of these people with the erosion we have been having along the dam, if one of these people fell into the river, this piece of equipment would be the best tool that I would have to try and rescue someone in this situation," said Trooper Ryan Griffith of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

There’s no word on how long the campers near the dam will be kept out.

Montgomery says he is very familiar with the water around here but right now he says it’s dangerous.

"Stay away from the banks. They are caving off, trees are falling I mean just steadily. It doesn’t look like it is that bad but when you look under the bank it is caving away pretty bad," said Montgomery.

The Corp of Engineers says right now, the plan is to release this amount of water from Keystone dam until Wednesday and they urge people to be aware  of collapses like this if you are standing or walking along these banks.