High Water May Keep Area Parks Closed For The Summer
At the earliest, several area parks affected by flooding might be able to re-open by July. Brad Ellis with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says, "We don’t know what the amenities will look like once the flood waters recede. It all depends upon the wave action, corrosion and zebra mussels, but we won’t know until the water goes down." High water has caused so much damage to Sparta Valley Park that it has been closed indefinitely. It's not just waiting for high water to recede. The land has to dry out before folks can drive on it. Another issue is bringing down the water levels. Currently, Lake Belton is releasing over 5000 cubic feet of water per second into the Leon River, Little River, and Brazos River. However, over 9000 cubic feet per second gets added to Belton Lake from Proctor Lake, and additional water from Cowhouse Creek and other streams. As of Monday, Lake Belton measures 619 feet (23 feet above normal). All boat ramps have been closed with the exception of Belton's Lakeview Park ramp. The Corps strongly recommends that ramp not be used due to the hazardous conditions. The road and parking lot to Franks Marina are closed due to high water. Miller Springs park is also closed, and officials with the Corps recommend staying off of Stillhouse Hallow Lake because of high water hazards.