The Norman Transcript

Headlines

March 16, 2014

Lake Texoma down nearly 10 feet below normal levels

KINGSTON — More than 300 local residents and visitors packed the Multi-Purpose Center here to address the low water level in Lake Texoma with politicians and audience members taking turns beating up on Texans’ water and power needs as well as federal and state government policies.

“This is not just about water. It’s about you, the community, the businesses,” said Lisa Davis, wildlife biologist, retired USDA law enforcement officer, and deputy director of Restore Lake Texoma State Park.

The massive lake which straddles the Oklahoma-Texas border is down nearly 10 feet below normal levels just as the tourism seating is opening. The level which many say hasn’t happened in decades has closed boat ramps, impacted marinas and lake boathouses. Some say property values have declined and sales taxes will also be reduced.

Some audience members said the ongoing drought was to blame but most believe it is hydropower production at the lake.

“I want to let you know Lake Texoma is still open,” Davis said, reminding folks to patronize local businesses. Tourism is the largest business in the county. Statewide, it is the third largest industry genrating an estimated $6.5 billion in the state.

Speakers, including a state senator and state representative, said the current lake level of 608 could go as low as 590 if Texas continues to run pumps and generate power.

Many speakers and audience members continued to bring up the state’s closing of the state park lodge in Kingston in anticipation of the Pointe Vista resort and condominium development. The lodge, golf course and cabins are gone but nothing has been built in its place. The state has taken the developer to court in recent weeks.

State Sen. Jerry Ellis, D-Valliant, said the governor and state tourism officials have closed or privatived 12 state parks in rural areas. He said rural lawmakers are having to fight to keep their parks open and to keep cheap water from flowing to metropolitan areas.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • SWIMMER Aquatic center could serve many community needs

    Michael Yoch could have been the kid with asthma sitting on the sidelines — could have been, but wasn’t. Michael had trouble running because of his asthma, which made it difficult to play soccer and many other sports his friends loved. ...

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Photo Slideshow: James Garner through the years

    Photos of James Garner...

    July 27, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Injury accident reported

    Transcript Staff Emergency crews responded to an injury accident around 10:20 p.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of 80th Avenue Southeast where there were reports of someone pinned. Several reports indicated a vehicle struck a tree causing one ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Migrant kids go to Mass

    The services have all the elements of a typical Sunday Mass — singing, scripture, a sermon, prayers, communion and worship....

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisons expand reach to bring training to more officers

    McALESTER — Joshua Drake once was offered the chance to be a corrections officer but turned it down because he didn’t want to leave his wife and aging parents for six weeks to train hundreds of miles away in El Reno....

    July 27, 2014

  • Storm victims face loan dilemma

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans....

    July 27, 2014

  • Norman North teen struck by freight train recovering with therapy

    A Norman North teen struck by a freight train in May is on the road to recovery and ready to get back to school after spending most of his summer in a hospital. Harrison Braddy, 16, has been staying busy with rehab and physical therapy ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Director leaves decade of memories

    Maureen Dolan is giving up the post as director of St. Joseph’s Early Childhood Development Center, fondly called “St. Joe’s” by the many parents whose pre-school children have spent their weekdays under her care over the past 10 years....

    July 27, 2014

  • Teen critical after rescue

    A 17-year-old Yukon male was transported to the hospital Sunday after a near drowning incident at Lake Thunderbird in the Party Cove area. Emergency crews responded to the lake after a report of a possible drowning around 5:30 p.m. ...

    July 27, 2014