Most area lake parks are finally open

The high-water mark from flooding this spring is still visible on some park buildings. (Photo by Christy Soto)
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(KWTX) Central Texas lake levels have dropped since this spring when runoff from heavy rainfall left lakeside parks and boat ramps flooded, and most facilities are now open, although repairs continue.

“This is going to be the first time a lot of people can enjoy the parks this summer, so we are expecting a lot of people at the park on the Fourth of July,” U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger Michael Champagne said.

At Lake Waco, most parks and ramps are open, but Koehne Park, which has been closed since October because of damage from floods in October, is still closed to visitors.

Champagne says the road to the boat ramp is undercut and the park will not be reopened until it is fixed.

“We are currently working on a budget, it’s going to be very expensive to fix, we are talking about a quarter of a million dollars,” Champagne said.

At Lake Waco Airport Park and Airport Beach also remain closed.

“We believe they should be back open relatively soon, we just need to make repairs and restore electricity,” Champagne said.

Champagne says the CAST for Kids event held at Airport Beach will continue as planned.

He says organizations are bringing generators and portable toilets for the event.

Reynolds Creek Park and the Twin Bridges Day Use Area are partially open.

All parks and ramps at Lake Aquilla, Lake Belton and Stillhouse Hollow Lake are open.

At Lake Whitney, however, only Cedar Creek Park, Nolan River Park Riverside Park and Steele Creek Park are fully open.

Rangers are encouraging residents who plan to head to the lake to be careful.

“Make sure that you are wearing your life jacket, make sure that you have a safe, sober driver on the boat. It’s going to be busy day on the lake, there is going to be a lot of people we don’t want there to be any accidents or collisions,” Champagne said.

He also encourages parents to always keep an eye on their children.

“One of the biggest hazards for children is not having someone keep an eye on them at the beaches,” he said.

“When you are at the beaches and you can’t swim, it’s OK to wear a life jacket, you should wear a life jacket,” Champagne said.

Lake rangers are reminding residents that fireworks are not allowed on park property.