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After five-year absence, boats and watercraft return to Lake Stanley Draper in Oklahoma City

After a five-year absence, boats and watercraft are buzzing around Lake Stanley Draper in southeast Oklahoma City.
by Matt Patterson Published: August 30, 2014

photo - 
People fish in shallow water near the boat ramp at Lake Stanley Draper. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
  Jim Beckel -
People fish in shallow water near the boat ramp at Lake Stanley Draper. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel -

The buzzing sound of jet skis has returned to Lake Stanley Draper after a five-year absence.

The lake in southeast Oklahoma City was once a popular water sports destination for boaters and skiers. That was until a long-term project lowered lake levels, and a drought followed when that work was completed.

Boaters and water skiers were able to begin enjoying the lake again last month.

Lake Stanley Draper receives its water from Atoka Lake. The water is pumped about 100 miles from the lake, but in 2009, the Atoka Pump Station Rehabilitation Project began. This caused the lake levels to drop as six pump stations were replaced along the pipeline.

That project was completed in 2011, just in time for the state to be ravaged by a long drought. Later, a tornado damaged the existing infrastructure at the lake, causing further problems.

“It was just a combination of things,” said Debbie Ragan, Oklahoma City utilities spokeswoman. “The pump project was necessary, but then the drought happened, and it caused more problems.”

Water fun, camping

Now the lake is near normal levels and has also become the home of 32 boat slips available for residents to rent at the marina.

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by Matt Patterson
Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun....
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