Keystone Dam Opens Up After Heavy Rain

Friday, October 12th 2018, 10:36 pm
By: News On 6

Recent heavy rains across Green Country, Kansas, and Colorado are filling our lakes and rivers several feet about normal.

The Arkansas river is full of water and moving quickly because Keystone lake is 8 feet above normal and expected to jump to 14 feet above normal by early next week.

The Army Corps of Engineers has opened dams to balance the water levels out.

"The dams are here for flood damage reduction. So, while we can't stop all the water and can't stop all the flooding, the corps of engineers and this dam, in particular, is here to reduce the amount of flooding downstream," said Travis Miller.

Lake Manager Travis Miller has already closed some recreation areas around Keystone Lake because of just how high the water is right now.

 "Currently we have about 100,000 cubic feet per second coming into the lake with the two rivers, the Cimmaron and the Arkansas Rivers flowing in and we are letting out about 40,000 cubic feet per second downstream," said Miller.

That’s about the same as 40,000 basketballs moving into the river per second. That much water coming into the lake and going into the river can lead to safety concerns on both ends.

"Downstream we are talking a lot more current than what you'd typically see during the summertime, you know again what you were talking about what we were generating before,” said Miller.

The same safety concerns go for those who are out boating and fishing.

“Pay extra attention because there is driftwood and there is flood debris that is coming into the lake right now so there could be more floating debris than you could see at normal times," said Miller.

The Corps says, before the dams were created it was either drought or flood in Oklahoma. The dams help to control both in an effort to keep everyone safe.