Parking lot, picnic tables under water at Lake O’ the Pines

Officials warn boaters of unknown,underwater hazards

Parking lot, picnic tables under water at Lake O’ the Pines

MARION COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - All the recent rain has to go somewhere, and there’s a whole lot of it at Lake O’ the Pines. The lake has its highs and its lows, but right now it’s definitely at a high.

Brad Grems, a natural resource specialist at Lake O’ the Pines, has worked for the Army Corps of Engineers for about a year and has been keeping an eye on the situation.

“Land owners have been nervous, and we’ve had to start closing down a couple sites in some of our campgrounds due to electrical issues. We don’t want our electric being under water,” Grems said.

However, the lake is open.

High water levels Tuesday at Lake O’ the Pines have prompted warnings about lake levels. The water has spilled out of the lake, leaving at least one parking area under several feet of water. Several Picnic tables are also submerged, and the Brushy Creek Campground is closed. (Jamey Boyum/Multimedia Journalist)
High water levels Tuesday at Lake O’ the Pines have prompted warnings about lake levels. The water has spilled out of the lake, leaving at least one parking area under several feet of water. Several Picnic tables are also submerged, and the Brushy Creek Campground is closed. (Jamey Boyum/Multimedia Journalist)

“Day-use areas which have maintained their open status currently. Some of them have changed where the gate houses isn’t currently in use but we’re using the honor box system,” Grems stated.

So you just put the day use fee in a box when you drive in. Most Lake O’ the Pines boat ramps remain open, but there are some exceptions.

“Some of the out-granted ramps that are to the county have been closed because the lake level is so high that there’s no safe access to them currently,” Grems explained.

How high?

“We are at a 241.37-foot lake level this morning at 8 a.m. We are in a very heavy flood stage right now,” Grems said.

He says full pool is 228.50 feet above sea level, so it’s almost 13 feet higher than normal, so if you put in a boat ...

“Make sure you stay away from the shoreline, you never know what hazards have been there,” Grems said.

Ironically, there could be submerged warning signs, and at Lakeside the covered picnic tables are gone.

“Gone. You can see the roof of one more. About an inch of it is all that’s above water. We’re releasing our maximum right now of 3,000 CFS,” Grems stated.

That’s Cubic Feet per Second, which is quite a flow. And all that water is flowing to Caddo Lake.

Grems says the Army Corps of Engineers has no plans to close the lake and the day-use areas are fully accessible to the public. You might want to check with them about available campsites.

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