High water has forced closures at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area including areas at Lake of the Arbuckles.
Ron Parker, CNRA spokesperson, said the area has received more than 11 inches of rain this month.
“Currently, the creeks flow rapidly and the Lake of the Arbuckles’ lake level is now nine feet above the normal conservation pool. As lake waters rise above normal shorelines, sewer lines that provide service to the Buckhorn campground and day use areas have become threatened. As a result, park management determined it is necessary to close the Buckhorn area to camping, day use, and boat launch, due to lack of restroom facilities and threats to the electrical system,” Parker said Thursday.
Access and safety considerations also necessitate the closing of other park areas impacted by heavy rainfall and high lake waters. Areas are submerged under water and present safety risks to visitors. Areas affected include:
- Buckhorn campground and day use areas
- Buckhorn boat launch ramp
- Catfish Bottoms
- Blackjack Road
- Eagle Bay
- Point day use area
- East Hunting Area
- Blue Stem Prairie.
“At this time, the Point Boat Launch offers the best location to launch a boat. Boaters are reminded to use caution as floating debris and vegetation has washed downstream from creeks into the lake. Also, park rangers encourage safe boating practices and minimal vessel speed on the lake. As waters continue to rise more closures are possible,” Parker said.
“Moreover, stream flow speed is currently deceptive and park rangers caution swimmers to stay out of creeks and enjoy the park from the shoreline until waters recede. Motorists are reminded not to drive into water.”
To ask questions call Travertine Nature Center at (580)622-7234 or visit www.nps.gov/chic.