Skiatook Lake Booms As High Water Closes Other Campgrounds

Sunday, June 21st 2015, 2:57 pm
By: News On 6

Flooding at lakes caused by rainfall from Tropical Depression Bill forced the Army Corps of Engineers to close several of its campsites and recreation areas this weekend. Skiatook is one of the few lakes in northeast Oklahoma open this weekend to boaters and campers.

Skiatook Lake is about two feet from its normal elevation, and because of that some of the local boat ramps are filling up with boaters and swimmers.

A line is forming at the Osage Park boat ramp on Skiatook Lake.

Boaters haven't seen the lake this busy in a long time.

"It's fun, and the water is clear and it's nice you know? We really enjoy ourselves over here," said Tia Jefferson, Skiatook Lake visitor.

The Jefferson family brought their wave runners this weekend to Skiatook because Keystone Lake levels are too high for them, and they're worried about debris in the water there.

6/19/2015 Related Story: Flooding Hits Lake Eufaula Businesses Hard

A month of rain and remnants of the tropical depression brought Skiatook Lake out of drought conditions.

"That water line, it was past the outer yellow rim, that's how bad it was," said Sky Bass. "It was past the outer yellow rim - like, we could walk all the way to the yellow rim."

The higher water allowed the Army Corps of Engineers to reopen several boat ramps and swimming areas once closed because of low lake levels.

"It's been really sad," Bass said. "We love coming to the lake. If we could, I'd come every day,"

"Son: daddy I'm going to beat you! Dad: of course you are!"

That's great news for Andrew Pannhoff and his family, who came out to Tall Chief Cove to swim.

"We're actually really glad to be out here because this is one of our favorite places to go," said Andrew Pannhoff.

For this family, getting back to their favorite beach beats the swimming pool on a nice weekend.

"This big ol' swimming area is amazing," Sky Bass said.

"Lakes are always better anyway," said Trish Bass.

Now that all the boat ramps and beaches are open don't forget to bring a lifejacket.