K8 Follow Up: Water Levels Rising at Lake Charles State Park

May 9, 2006 – Posted at 5:14 p.m. CDT

LAWRENCE COUNTY, AR -- The first batch of storms rolled through Tuesday morning, dumping much needed rain on Region 8. After going months and months with very little precipitation, April provided relief to an area state park in desperate need. Finally, water levels at Lake Charles are going up.

The Natural State is known for its state parks, but the dry weather has been taking its toll.

"People come to Arkansas for the water, the lakes, the rivers and things like that," said Lake Charles State Park Superintendent Randall Watts, "When we don't get the rain, we don't have the flowing water and we don't have the lakes full and it isn't as attractive."

The low water levels at Lake Charles State Park have put a damper on this tourist attraction.

"A lot of instate people had heard the water levels were down and they would call and make plans based on it and a couple weeks ago it was bleak," said Watts.

At one point, the water was seven feet below normal but now the outlook is upbeat after more rain in May followed up a soggy April.

"We have had about five inches in April and brought the level up about four feet," said Watts.

While Tuesday's rain did have an immediate impact, the effect will be even greater once area creeks flow into the lake in the coming days.

"If we get three or four inches it could make a three or four foot difference. If we get some rain like we have been having, we could be full within the next week," said Watts.

A full lake that is full of fish should help to make spring and summer a great get-away for visitors at Lake Charles State Park.

"We're looking at topping last year because everyone is interested and word is getting out that the lake is filling back up," said Watts.

This weekend, Lake Charles State Park will see more tourists roll in for an auto show complete with a bass tournament and local entertainment.