Flooding issues at El Dorado Lake continue ahead of 4th of July


EL DORADO, Kan. (KSNW) – State parks continue to suffer following more storms over the weekend.

Closed campgrounds and boat ramps are taking a toll on much needed revenue for the state and local businesses.

El Dorado is one of those state parks dealing with a flood of issues since Memorial Day.

Fewer boats and fewer campers means fewer dollars for several people who rely on the profits of summer.

Bertha was one of the few boats on El Dorado Lake, Monday.

“This is our trolley back and forth to work, due to all the high water right now,” said Jonny Begood, maintenance manager for Shady Creek Marina.

You cannot get to the marina, without having to walk through high water or hopping on Begood’s boat.

The high water has washed away many of the marina’s customers.

“People aren’t going boating,” said Mike Morgan, owner and operator of Shady Creek Marina. “The marina traffic is down. The pontoon rental traffic is down. Service traffic is down. Boat sales traffic is down.”

“From food, to merchandise, to ice, to beer, it’s everything,” said Debbie Haled, manager of the marina.

Park officials say the flooded park has cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“At our highest point a couple weeks ago we were 9.9 feet above conservation pool, which has set the all time record,” said Mitch Lowry, assistant manager at El Dorado State Park.

Eight campgrounds are still under water, forcing the park to refund reservations.

“Up to date, we’ve called over 100 at least, probably way more than that,” said Lowry.

Now, concerns are focused on the busy 4th of July weekend.

“We’re hoping and praying in our anticipation, that it’s going to be great,” said Haled.

Although optimistic, park officials say they are already refunding some 4th of July reservations, as they do not believe all of the campsites will be open by then.

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