High Water Closes Beaches at Oologah Lake

Oologah Lake has two beaches and a boat ramp closed due to high water. The lake is eight and a half feet above normal. Last week, the lake was eleven feet above normal.

For the past week and a half a beach closed sign welcomes you as you come into the Hawthorn Campground area. It will be at least another couple of weeks before the beaches will be open again. At come of the campground sites there are picnic tables and cookers with water covering part of them.

With the beaches closed, the park rangers know it's an inconvenience.

"You feel a little sad because you know this is what people like to do in the summer time. It's starting to get hot now and people are wanting to come out and enjoy their weekends and enjoy the weekdays," Park Ranger Raef Perryman said.

Oologah Lake is used for recreation and drinking water but it was also designed to help with flooding problems.

"We are holding our water back and allowing rivers to go down so we aren't flooding houses down stream," Perryman said.

Perryman said their campgrounds and all but one boating ramp is open so you can still come out and enjoy the lake. But boaters need to watch out for debris in the water, such as sticks and logs.

Once the water does go back down, Perryman said they will have to inspect the area before people are allowed back on the beaches.

"We have a diver come out and inspect out beaches for safety as we open and that's something that we will have to do again as the water recedes," Perryman said.

The water is going down about a half a foot each day.