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High water threatening campgrounds ahead of Memorial Day

Posted at 3:58 PM, May 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-10 19:18:20-04

KEYSTONE LAKE, OK (KJRH) — As heavy rains have soaked our area and surrounding states, they’ve also taken a toll on our waterways.

Lakes and rivers are flooding their banks, which could threaten popular parks and campgrounds before their biggest weekend of the year.

Officials say the water hasn’t flowed like this in years. Even in 2015 when we had a record rainfall in May, the lake never rose this high.

The lake is 19 feet of water over normal at 6 p.m. on Friday, and it’s still rising. That’s caused campgrounds on the banks of 15 different lakes to close down.

The high levels are now threatening to keep those campgrounds closed through Memorial Day weekend, when families from as far as 10 hours away flock to the area to camp out.

“Our family usually parks right here, and we take up all these parking spots up here," said Ashley Friend, a weekend camper. "So our whole family can camp with their campers, but usually it’s so packed. You can’t get a spot.”

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the Tulsa district is one of the top three in the country for tourism. They say Memorial Day often brings in the biggest weekend crowd of the year.

Officials say it could take a while longer for the water level to stop rising, let alone recede.

If you already have Memorial Day weekend reservations that might be affected by the water levels, Tulsa’s recreation reservation system is processing cancellations. You can find a link to the most up-to-date closures and how to reach the reservation system here.

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