Low Water Level Prompts Closure At Skiatook Lake Swim Beach

Sunday, June 12th 2011, 9:28 pm
By: News On 6

Emily Baucum, News On 6

SKIATOOK LAKE, Oklahoma -- Most area lakes and rivers are experiencing record high levels because of springtime floods. But a drought is creeping its way into Green Country.

Summer's not exactly making a splash at Tall Chief Cove's swim beach at Skiatook Lake. The Army Corps of Engineers is forced to close the popular swimming area.

"When I saw the sign that they were closing, 'Why?' was my first comment."Everyone's having a good time. The water is a perfect temperature. It's safe. I don't see what the issue is," said beach goer Kim Hoffman.

Skiatook Lake is nearly six feet below its normal level, creating several drop offs. The Army Corps of Engineers decided those drop-offs make swimming unsafe.

So starting Wednesday, Tall Chief Cove's swim beach will shut down.

"Terrible that they closed it, but I do see it's shallow, yes," said local beach goer Bryce Jones.

Shallow's not always bad. It makes even the smallest swimmers feel safe.

"And I can go underwater. And I'm only four," said Ellora.

But with a busy boating lane nearby, the Corps of Engineers says there's not enough room for everyone.

Fun in the sun made this cove the hot spot.

"Like, in the last few months we've been coming here every week," Jones said.

But unless rain falls from the sky -- and fast -- families will have to find another place to make sand castles.

"Maybe my family could go tubing again. We still got the whole lake open," Jones said.

All anyone can do now is hope for more rain. The Army Corps of Engineers will monitor the lake level when it's considered safe.