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Water Warning

Water Warning

Swimmers and boaters should take extra care on area lakes this weekend

May 25th, 2019 by Lori Dunn in Texarkana News

Cass County Park on Wright Patman Lake has some campsites and boat ramps closed because of the rising water brought on by a steady stream of storms earlier this month. Volunteers managed to save most of the loose tables, wheelchair ramps, electrical connections and portable buildings thanks to a warning by the Corps of Engineers.

Photo by Neil Abeles /Texarkana Gazette.

Water levels are higher than normal at area lakes and officials with the Army Corps of Engineers are warning swimmers and boaters to use extra caution this holiday weekend.

"Higher water can result in more debris than normal in the water, so please be aware of floating debris and submerged objects," said Laurie Driver, spokesperson for the Little Rock District of the Corps of Engineers.

Higher water has also resulted in the closure of some campsites and boat ramps at Wright Patman Lake, Millwood Lake and other area lakes.

Campsites 19 and 20 at Millwood Lake are closed because of high water, according to the Corps. River Run boat ramps east and west at Millwood are also closed.

At Wright Patman Lake, Elliot Bluff is closed due to flooding. Clear Spring's A section camping loop is closed due to high water, as is the bridge on Clear Springs Road.

The North Shore Beach at Wright Patman is closed because of flooding, but boat ramp three remains open. The beach and boat ramp at Rocky Point are also closed due to flooding.

Water levels are also higher than normal at Dierks, De Queen, and Gillham lakes. About 50 campsites are closed at Dierks, according to the Corps of Engineers.

As the water recedes, some campsites and camping loops will remain closed to allow for flood damage repairs and to clean up the sites, according to the Corps.

Swimmers can stay safe by being aware of their surroundings, staying hydrated and never swimming alone, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife. It is also recommended to swim in only designated areas.

Anyone swimming on a lake or river should be aware of underwater currents and changing conditions. Swift currents from flash flooding can happen very quickly.

Boaters should always wear a life jacket, avoid alcohol, and operate at a safe speed, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Boaters should also have a passenger serving as a lookout in addition to the operator and watch for low areas or submerged objects.

For more information about recreational activities at local and regional parks, visit the Corps' Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/littlerockusace or its website at http://www.swl.usace.army.mil/.

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