Lakes Remain Closed Across Oklahoma For Independence Day

Wednesday, July 4th 2007, 3:23 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Independence Day celebrations kicked off under sunny skies across the state, but several Oklahoma lakes remained closed Wednesday because of high water levels after more than two weeks of heavy rains.

At Lake Texoma, the state's second largest lake and a recreational hot spot along the Oklahoma-Texas border, camp sites and boat docks were underwater and utility companies in both states worked to shut off power to buildings threatened by rising lake levels.

``It's like a little ghost town down here right now,'' said Bill Bailey, who operates the Little Glasses Resort in Madill. ``Everything is pretty much shut down.

``We're going to sustain a pretty large business loss.''

Although Bailey's campgrounds were underwater, the resort's marina and cabins were expected to remain dry.

The lake was projected to go over its spillway on Thursday before cresting Tuesday at about 640 1/2 feet, six inches above the spillway level, said Bryan County Emergency Management Director James Dalton. It will be only the third time in the history of the lake that the spillway has overflowed.

Closures of state parks and campgrounds also were reported Wednesday at Hulah Lake, Lake Hudson, Grand Lake and portions of Lake Thunderbird in Norman, according to the Department of Tourism Web site. The first nine holes of golf courses at Roman Nose and Sequoyah also were closed Wednesday due to flooding.

Elsewhere, Independence Day celebrations at cities and towns went off without a hitch on Wednesday.

In downtown Edmond, U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin helped dedicate a bronze statue of Nannita R.H. ``Kentucky'' Daisey, a political activist, teacher and journalist who jumped from the cow catcher on the front of a train to make a land claim in what is now north Edmond.

In April 1889, Daisey reportedly jumped from the train, marked her claim with her petticoat and then hopped back on the train's caboose. She later arrived at a land office, where she was one of the first women to file a land grant in her own name.

``That was my kind of woman,'' said Fallin, R-Oklahoma City. ``She's got a little bit of spirit. I like that.''

The statue, which depicts Daisey leaping into the air, with two stakes in one hand and the other outstretched, is dubbed ``Leaping into History.'' A centennial project, it was sculpted by Mary Lou Gresham.

Buried in a small courtyard next to the statue was a time capsule with 100 items scheduled to be opened in 50 years.

At Fort Sill Army Post near Lawton, military officials delivered a 50-gun salute as part of the post's Independence Day ceremony, which also included a reading of the Declaration of Independence and a speech by Maj. Gen. David Ralston.