By Chris Wright, The News On 6
CREEK COUNTY, OK -- When boaters head to the lake this Memorial Day weekend, most will find smooth sailing. That's because lake levels are normal for the first time in four years.
A day before the Memorial Day weekend kicks off, Keystone Lake is calm, and the water level is neither too high nor too low. That may not sound like a big deal, but it's rarity here this time of year.
"It's actually pretty normal," said Emmy Ledbetter of the Pier 51 Marina. "It's about two feet up, so it's good water. It's a little murky, but other than that it's going to be a great weekend."
Pier 51 Marina expects business to be booming this weekend. Unlike previous years, employees won't have to deal with flooding or frustrated boaters.
"To have water levels average, helps us out a lot, helps business. So we like it level," she said.
It's the same story at other area lakes.
Skiatook Lake is .4 feet above normal; Fort Gibson is up 1.9 feet, Eufaula 2.9, and Oologah Lake 6.1.
While they are still releasing water from the dam at Keystone, it's really nothing when you compare it to what had to be released the past couple of years.
"We are packed out here," said Lindsey Sherrell, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "This is the first year in probably four years we haven't been flooded. So it's pretty busy already."
The Army Corps of Engineers expects boaters and swimmers to show up in droves this weekend. It will be crowded at Keystone, but they would rather have that problem than the ones associated with too much water.
"So that doesn't make for too many happy campers when you mess up their holiday weekend," Sherrell said.
The Corp of Engineers says it's hoping for zero drownings this holiday weekend. It's urging boaters to wear their life jackets and drink alcohol in moderation.