Lake Eufaula Levels Up

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

The levels are up in one local lake and its town has high hopes for its summer economy.

Patricia Oliver has lived in Fort Gaines her whole life and says she is elated to know the water levels in Lake Eufaula have come back up, giving her hope for her business this summer.

"When the summer comes you can really tell a difference because we have people coming in for fishing, and swimming and everything,” Oliver says. “So, we look forward for the summer time."

Since August, the water level for Lake Eufaula has been below normal, about 15 feet below on average.

Bill Smallwood, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says December’s rainfall brought the water level up almost to its average peak of 190 feet. "The lowest was about 185 above sea level and that was through most of the summer; [it] held from about August to about December. We held just about at that level."

Smallwood says having the lake below average has a big negative impact on local businesses.

"That effects a lot of businesses around the lake,” Smallwood says. “When we get less people, it means less money coming into the local economy."

Smallwood says the lake has its usual patterns of low levels about every two to three years, but is keeping a positive attitude for the summer.

Smallwood adds, "Hopefully it’s over; we won't know, you know until later on in the spring. We'll see what the rain does then."

Oliver is also keeping a positive outlook and is ready for business to pick up.

Smallwood says the last time there was a drought as bad as this year's was in the early 80s.

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