Some areas of Grenada Lake closed for Memorial Day weekend

Published 3:55 pm Friday, May 25, 2007

Low water levels at Grenada Lake have prompted officials to close all the beaches and at least six boat ramps for the Memorial Day weekend.

Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees the lake, said water levels are the lowest for this time of the year since records began being kept in the 1950s.

“In my 36 years of working, I haven’t seen it this low this time of the year,” said Grenada Lake Project Manager Don Gober. “All of the day use areas are open: the pavilions, trails, tennis courts and some boating.”

He said the larger boat ramps are open.

Wayland Hill, an engineer at the corps’ Water Control Management Office in Vicksburg, said rainfall has been running about 12 inches below normal in the area.

The lake is usually drained during the late summer and early fall for flood control but that was not necessary because of the lack of rain.

The corps has been releasing the least amount of water required at the lake since Feb. 12, said Hill, but the lack of rainfall makes boating and swimming activities more dangerous.

Gober said while some boating is still possible at the lake, boaters should stay in the main part of the lake and avoid shallow waters.

The areas of the lake that are closed, due to the low water levels, will remain closed until the levels rise and the areas are determined safe for public use, officials said.

“We have to follow a water safety policy with buoys and depth water poles,” said Gober.