Rain Fills Up Oklahoma Lakes

Thursday, May 14th 2009, 9:17 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- With 20 straight days of rain, area lakes are filled with too much water.  You may be wondering what kind of shape those lakes are in right now and what they'll be like for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

At the Washington Irving area on Lake Keystone, all but 16 campsites are closed.  After 20 straight days of rain, enough is enough.           

Park Ranger Beth Cruzen says Keystone is 19 feet above normal, and will get another foot deeper by Sunday afternoon.  The Corps is releasing water from the dam, but can't let much more out.

"What we release affects the Arkansas River, which affects downstream from us, like around Van Buren, Muskogee, Van Buren and all the way down," said Park Ranger Beth Cruzen.

It isn't much better at other area lakes.  Levels are anywhere from seven feet to 18 feet above normal.  Rangers say boaters who do get out on the water need to watch out for hidden dangers.

"Picnic tables, there's different objects.  Cookers, lantern hangers, trees that are under water, that normally aren't," said Park Ranger Beth Cruzen.

At Oologah Lake, which is 15 feet above normal, picnic tables are under water.  Most boat ramps are closed.  It's not what anyone wants to see as we near the Memorial Day weekend.

For some lakes, like Oologah, it doesn't look like it's going to be much better by the Memorial Day weekend. 

The problem is many lakes in southern Kansas are 20 to 28 feet above normal.  All that water will flow from that state to Oklahoma and into many area lakes.  That means swimming beaches will remain closed on the holiday.           

Rangers say the best bet as we get closer to Memorial Day is to call ahead to get the latest information, and hope the weather cooperates.

It's important to point out; area marinas are still open for business and can get people to their boats and have rentals available.

For more information about Oklahoma lakes, check out Newson6.com's Fishing with Faurot Section.