Rising lake levels creating problems for campers

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CARTWRIGHT, Okla. (KXII) -- "It will affect a lot of recreational activities," said Tommy Holder, Assistant Lake Manager for Lake Texoma Army Corps of Engineers.

The Corps shut down about half of the East Burns Run campgrounds on Friday and plans to shut down even more.

"They said yea, you better pull out by Saturday because it's going to come up. They said it's supposed to crest at like 625," said camper Mike Parker.

In fact, campgrounds on both sides of the lake are moving campers to higher ground to avoid rising waters.

"Some of our campgrounds unfortunately will close because we have to kill the power to those facilities and just keep people out of harm's way," said Holder.

Many won't be taking new reservations until after May 20 because that's how long engineers say these high levels could last.

"It's coming up at a rate of about a foot a day,' said Holder.

Mike Parker and his family have to move to avoid the rising waters on their annual camping trip.

"This is one of the first ones they shut down, this and lakeside. We're going to move to West Burns Run," said Parker.

The Corps says they're doing everything they can to be sure people are safe, even if that means erring on the side of caution.

"The travel of water can sometimes move faster than we anticipate so we try to stay ahead of it," said Holder.

"No, I wish they would let it out so it would go down so I can camp," said Parker.

This camper says it's time to open the flood gates and let some of the water out but the corps says not so fast.

"Our hydrologists in Tulsa, they crunch all those numbers for us and look for opportunities for us to release water with keeping in mind the safety of the folks downstream to prevent flooding in their areas," said Holder.

The Corps says they plan to start that process slowly once some of the water there subsides.

For the campers, moving is a temporary inconvenience that won't hinder them too long.

"Yea, we'll probably continue on over there so it's not too bad," said Parker.

The Corps says they expect more closures over the weekend because the level is supposed to rise even more.

They do not expect the lake to get anywhere close to going over the spillway.

Here's a current list of closures by the Army Corps of Engineers:

East Burns Run Campground
sites 1-14 closed on 5/03/19
sites 26-44 closed on 5/04/19
sites 15-25 closed on 5/06/19
Campground will be closed on 5/06/19
All future reservations are canceled until 5/20/2019

Lakeside Campground
E & D areas closed 5/3/2019
B section will be closed 5/5/2019
Boat Ramp closed 5/04/19
Campground will be closed on 5/6/2019
All future reservations cancelled until 5/20/2019

Juniper East Campground
Campground will be closed on 5/06/2019
All future reservations are canceled until 5/20/2019

Juniper West Campground
Boat Ramp closed on 5/6/2019

Platter Flats Campground
Boat Ramp closed on 5/5/19

Caney Creek Campground
Boat ramp closed as of 5/3/2019

Johnson Creek Campground
Boat Ramp closed on 5/5/2019

West Burns Run Campground
Boat ramp closed on 5/5/2019

Buncombe Creek Campground
Boat ramp closed on 5/5/2019

Preston Bend
Boat Ramp closed on 5/5/2019