Keystone Lake Expected To Crest

Thursday, July 5th 2007, 3:50 pm
By: News On 6

Keystone Lake is creeping closer to the top of the dam. The water level was expected to crest at some point Thursday, then begin receding. Despite the high lake level engineers tell The News On 6 they’re still letting out about the same amount of water they have been releasing in recent days out of the spillway, 70,000 cubic feet per second. That's just a fraction of the amount that came pouring out in the flood of ’86. The News On 6’s Heather Lewin reports with all that pressure on the dam engineers may have to start releasing more water into the Arkansas River.

"A lot of water," said Doyle Cothran of Tulsa.

"We just come to look and see what it looks like, highest I've ever seen it," Tulsa resident Troy Belk said.

Onlookers flocked to both sides of Keystone Dam on Thursday, most in awe of the sheer volume of water being held back, and how fast it's flowing on the other side. Some were wary of testing their faith in the dam.

"I just don't wanna be the one going across it when it breaks or anything else," said Bill O'Dell of Sand Springs.

Others had more confidence in the structure.

"You look at the other side, you can see where there's some seepage and it makes you wonder, but then they reassure us it's all okay. Have to take their word," Cothran said.

After seasons of lamenting low levels for summer recreation now there's simply too much water to deal with for boaters.

"I don't think I would be today, too many logs," Belk said.

Engineers measure the water on the dam by feet above sea level. They consider a certain amount the flood pool to measure high water. Right now it's 2% above that flood pool, but officials say there's still a safety gap left at the top. For security reasons they won't say how many feet that is, but they say there's still plenty of room and they don't expect the lake to rise any higher.

Watch the video: Keystone Lake Near Capacity

For more flooding information, check out our STORM ZONE web page.