EDMOND — A pop-up camper was submerged in the water after the owner failed to get it out of a Central State Park campground as Arcadia Lake flowed over its banks following Friday's storms.
Arcadia Lake is closed indefinitely during one of the busiest months of the summer season. The lake was 10.5 feet above normal Monday.
Campers were evacuated from lake parks after up to 10 inches of rain fell in Oklahoma City, upstream from Arcadia Lake. Officials recorded 4¾ inches of rain at the lake Friday.
“I talked to the corps (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) earlier and they said not to anticipate any water will be released until the end of the week,” said Leon Mixer, Arcadia Lake superintendent.
Water in Arcadia Lake originates in central Oklahoma City, and the lake functions as a flood control reservoir for the Deep Fork River Basin. Water flows generally east into Lake Eufaula, where it joins with the North Canadian River to flow farther south, eventually ending in the Gulf of Mexico.
The 3,820-acre lake was constructed as a cooperative effort between the city of Edmond and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and opened in 1987.
This is the third time in six years Arcadia Lake parks have been closed because of floodwater.
The June 14, 2010, flash floods forced officials to close the lake and parks. In 2007, the parks flooded and were closed for 28 days.
Monday, the lake level was at an elevation of 1,016.58 feet. At one point, water was flowing in the lake at a rate of 2,500 cubic feet a second.
Fishing docks, roadways, campsites and grills were underwater throughout the park.
“Docks are just not approachable,” said Mixer, who estimated the water was 80 feet past the shoreline in certain spots at Spring Creek Park.
Only 4 to 8 inches of the 8-foot by 10-foot sign listing the rules for the beach at Spring Creek Park was sticking above the water.
Floating logs, trees and debris in the water were creating a danger.
“We are asking people to be patient,” Mixer said. “We want people to come out here to be safe. This is unsafe. There are a lot of things you can't see.”
A large yellow and red sign printed with “Danger High Water” was posted at the entrance of Spring Creek Park
“Typically there are a lot of people out here,” Mixer said as he walked through Spring Creek Park. “It is kind of sad.”