Flooding still a concern for lake recreation areas

Posted at 7:21 PM, May 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-10 20:29:32-04

More rain in the forecast isn't helping area lakes, which are already dealing with debris clean up. Crews are trying to get the recreation sites back open to the public. Flooding is also affecting areas other than just those parks and lakes.

"It's springtime in Texas so I guess you never really know what you're going to get," said Travis Moore, Golf Course Superintendent at Ridgewood Country Club in Waco.

Several of the holes at the Ridgewood Country Club golf course have been under water for three weeks, which causes concern for the staff.

Within the last week, crews have picked up dozens of branches that came in with the flooding. 

Moore said they aren't careful, they could even damage the greens.

On Tuesday, crews were finally able to see the greens on one of the holes, after it was under water for three weeks. They will be spending the next several days watering the grass to rinse the algae and dirt off.

"It's really a delicate process because you're trying to get it off without hurting this fragile plant that's been under water for three weeks. and the quicker you can get on there to do it, the better chances you have of the grass living."

Ridgewood Country Club is hoping to have all of the holes open within the next few weeks.

Moore also said the number of people golfing has decreased with only 17 holes open to play.

"It’s a frustration and inconvenience to the members because they want to play 18 holes of golf so when we have to modify holes or skip holes like this one it kind of slows things down a little bit."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Waco said all of the parks around Lake Waco are closed while crews wait for the water levels to go down. The lake is about 10 feet above its normal level. 

"There's no benefit or gain for us to close these parks down and keep the general public out. We do it for safety and just because the facilities are inundated with water and debris," said Randall McCartney, Lead Ranger at Lake Waco for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Some of the roads at Airport Park near Lake Waco are impassible because of debris. Crews are working to clean that up in the next few weeks. 

"We can't help Mother Nature but we are doing everything we can do try to get these parks back open for the general public to use,” said McCartney. 

Lake Belton and Stillhouse Lake in Bell County are seeing similar issues, but officials there say most of their lake parks are open, including boat ramps. There are a few places, like Westcliff Park, that are still closed.

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