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Increased rainfall causing concern at Wright Patman Lake

(Source: Fred Gamble/KSLA News 12)
Published: Jun. 2, 2021 at 3:33 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:51 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) — Many are feeling the impacts of the excessive amount of rain the Texarkana area has received over the past few weeks. The rainfall is causing problems at area lakes, and more rain is expected to come this weekend.

Even though the gates at Wright Patman Lake are releasing the maximum amount of water into the Sulfur River below, heavy rain has the lake holding more water than normal.

“We are at 240.7 [feet high] right now. Our normal pool is 227 for the summer, so we are about 13 1/2 feet high,” said Logan Lovelace, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Several picnic areas are now under water and some campsites are closed. The high water has closed bridges and even boat ramps at the lake, making some swimming areas unsafe, Lovelace added.

“I will say for water safety-wise, do not get on the roofs that are normally picnic tables and jump off of them. They have impediments down there that you just don’t want to deal with.”

Shelley Jennings is the owner of Kelly Creek Marina.

Water has begun to take over portions of Kelly Creek Marina, causing the relocation of trailers to higher ground. Marina owner Shelley Jennings said she now is concerned for what is going to happen when water makes its way from tributaries northwest of Wright Patman Lake.

“If the water rises a couple of more feet, we will be evacuating the entire park and the electric company will cut off the power to the entire area.”

Lake officials said the high water levels may be good for those fishing, but not for the Army Corps of Engineers. However, they say that is why the Wright Patman Dam was put in place.

“We are supposed to halt water from getting down to Shreveport when it’s flooding. We do a good job; we can take on a lot of water before we have issues,” Lovelace said.

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