Corps Of Engineers Urging Oklahoma Lake Goers To Be Cautious Of Hazards

Thursday, July 2nd 2015, 6:19 pm
By: News On 6

The Army Corps of Engineers is urging people to take it easy on Oklahoma lakes this weekend after recent flooding.

The water at Keystone Lake is 15 feet above normal, and because of the high water, the Army Corps of Engineers is running patrols to look for hazards.

Oklahoma Lake Levels

"This area is still in the works, you can see quite a bit of bigger driftwood right here in this spot," said Chief Park Ranger, Travis Miller.

As Fourth of July boaters and campers trickle into Keystone Lake, rangers make sure everything's in place for the busy holiday weekend.

Miller said the corps is kicking their patrols into overdrive – searching for hazards - because of the lingering high water.

"We're out inspecting some of the parks from the lakeside and we're checking on some of our buoys for the holiday weekend, ensuring that there aren't very many boating hazards," Miller said.

Like floating debris, misplaced buoys and flooded park areas.

“This entire loop that we're looking at was closed, totally under water. You can see on the tree line there where it's still, the lake was well above the land here," he said.

While most parks have been reopened, high water may have changed the layout of the swimming areas, fishing spots and campgrounds, according to Deputy Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Young.

“If you think you're comfortable with an area and you think it's always the same, it may not be the same this year," he said.

While the corps is looking out for your safety, they said the best way to have a safe weekend is to take the right precautions and stay aware.

"If you're anywhere near the water, have a life jacket on; even if you're out seeing some of the fireworks or something else where you're near a river or lake, just be aware that the water is higher than normal, and so you want to take some safety precautions for the water, even if you don't expect to be in the water," Young said.

The corps said Walnut Creek Park, which had recently been closed, is once again open for visitors this weekend.