Park Rangers prepare for busy holiday weekend

Posted at 9:52 PM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 23:12:41-04

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Rangers are gearing up for a busy weekend at area lakes across Central Texas.

"We are going to be crowded," Michael Champagne, Park Ranger for Lake Waco, said. "Every single campsite is booked throughout the weekend and it's been like that for months."

Champagne said they are expecting thousands of people at Lake Waco for Memorial Day weekend.

"When these parks get full, we will shut down the park, especially Twin Bridges and Airport Beach," Champagne said. "We will close the gates once it is at capacity and people may not be readmitted. So, if they leave they need to understand they may not be able to come back in the park."

Memorial Day weekend at Airport Park has not been open for the last several years, but will be for the upcoming weekend.

"Two years of flooding and another year of rebuilding, it finally feels like we're back open again," Champagne said.

In 2015 and 2016, Lake Waco saw extreme flooding that closed several parks for months, even years. Debris filled the roads and water covered the shelters and much of the recreation area.

"You can't start working on these parks until they come back from under the water so you can assess and see what's wrong so it was a very very long process," Champagne said.

It took over a year to replace the plumbing and electrical issues in the restrooms, the shelter tops and the sand on the beach.

"That south wind really does a lot of damage when the waves come up and wash the sand away," Champagne said.

With the parks almost finished, Park Rangers are now getting ready for the busy holiday weekend.

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