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Missouri Highway Patrol encourages boater caution because of high water, lake debris

Flooding and lake debris from storms might make navigating the lake more difficult.
Flooding and lake debris from storms might make navigating the lake more difficult.(ky3)
Published: May. 6, 2022 at 3:33 PM CDT|Updated: May. 6, 2022 at 3:34 PM CDT
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CAPE FAIR, Mo. (KY3) - More boaters may head to the lakes with sunshine and warmer weather in the forecast this weekend. Flooding and debris from storms might make navigating the lake more difficult.

Cape Fair Marina employees Marina say the past few days have required much maintenance work. The staff has had to pull in docks and maneuver the lake to get rental boats to the other marina for customers to use.

“Our parking lot is almost impossible to get into,” said employee Emily Barker. “You have to actually go on the high road in now.”

Barker says it may take a few days for the debris to clear out. That’s why keeping your speed low on the water this weekend is essential, so you don’t run over anything.

”Lots of logs are actually going to sit under the surface, so you might see a little thing and think you’re going around it, and you’re not. You’re going right over it,” Barker said.

Missouri Highway Patrol Sergeant Mike McClure says rising water on area lakes could present challenges for boaters, especially at night. Most of the debris will be moving downstream. To offset that, the corps of engineers will be pulling water from Table Rock Dam. This is going to create some current throughout the entire lake.

”Once we get out in the main body, we’re going to see those bigger pieces of debris in the form of logs to just dead debris, driftwood to trash that we can see from the surface,” said McClure. “What we don’t see is what can give us some problems if we’re boating.”

Now is the time to start getting your boat prepared with all of the necessary equipment you might need.

”Particularly your life jackets, make sure you have life jackets for everybody that’s going to be onboard your boat.”

McClure says there are still some road closures in this area. Water may subside, but there could be standing water. He says when you see barricades up, respect those barricades.

“Don’t drive around them regardless if you live in that area,” McClure said. “Find an alternate means to get there because you don’t know if the roads washed out underneath it or not.”

Sergeant McClure says it’s also essential to check lake levels before heading out on the water.

CLICK HERE for updated levels.

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