Drought takes toll on Lake Murray boaters

By: Helen Headlee Email
By: Helen Headlee Email

The water at Lake Murray is down six feet and lapping farther away from the shoreline due to the drought. The lack of rain is creating a hassle for boaters. Susan Adams rents a slip and lives on the lake, and says low water levels makes for slower boating.

"You can see the fishermen out there," said Adams. "They're not as wild and crazy as they usually are because it's low and you might hit something. So does it effect us? Yes."

The danger for boaters when the water is this low is that they can hit hazards like sandbars, tree stumps, or these rocks right here. Hazards that are normally covered by six feet of water.

Lake Murray park management said they have closed all but three of their ten boat ramps because boats are having a difficult time loading and unloading from the lake.

"Is it hard to get the bigger boats in and out? Absolutely," Adams said. "Do they have to bring in special equipment? Yes, because we all protect our boats more than anything else."

And until the drought ends, boaters will have to keep being careful. But Clay Wright with the Noble Foundation said there's no telling when that will be.

"There's really no way to predict a drought," said Wright. "Or, when one's here there's no way predict really how long it will last."

So far this drought has lasted for two years. And while boating might be more difficult, Adams hopes fellow boaters will keep making waves at Lake Murray.

"We hope it doesn't stop people from coming out here because they can still have a great time at the lake," said Adams.

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