Corps of Engineers stresses boating safety in excessive water


With rapidly rising lake stages and massive amounts of debris, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is urging boaters take more precautions on Lake Ouachita.

As of 3 p.M. Thursday, Lake Ouachita turned into at 581.88 ft above mean sea degree, greater than three ft above the flood pool level, which starts offevolved at 578 ft msl.

“We’re ready to see what rain we get Saturday, but we are projected to hit 582 (ft msl),” Amy Shultz, herbal useful resource specialist, Lake Ouachita Field Office, instructed The Sentinel-Record.


Shultz said there was a moderate wreck as Lake Ouachita did not get hit as difficult with the aid of rains Wednesday as other areas of Garland County; however, the National Weather Services predicts rain possibilities through Saturday, with wet weather returning midweek.

According to a news release from the Lake Ouachita Field Office, large amounts of particles have washed into the lake after heavy rain from a chain of storms that surpassed via the place the previous few weeks. As a end result of heavy rains within the country, Lake Ouachita continues to be growing, it stated.

Shultz stated debris, which include downed timber and stumps, are carried into the lake by sturdy currents, making for unsafe situations for boaters.

“We’ve simply had a variety of people complain due to the fact they have hit those bushes and damaged their boats all due to the fact they could not see it out at the water,” she stated.

“Thankfully we have not had any fatalities on Lake Ouachita but, however people think the high water is not as dangerous as when the lake degrees are low, but it truly is not the case. They’re not suspecting this particles because they can’t see it.

“There’s commonly a whole lot of cleanup after a main flooding event like this,” she said.

Shultz said rangers have to be simply as cautious with their patrol boats because of the particles.

The Corps of Engineers stresses that each time boaters take to the water they gradual down, put on a existence jacket always, put on a “kill switch,” and “maintain a vigilant lookout for water risks.”

“Across the district, we’ve got already had more than one fatalities — fortunately not on Lake Ouachita — because of no longer wearing a lifestyles jacket,” Shultz said. “We recognize that had these people been wearing their existence jacket, those might not had been fatal.”

According to the release, heat weather may be deceiving as rain-cooled water remains very cool and “bloodless water immersion can bring about a gasp reflex and probably hypothermia.”

Shultz said the corps also discourages humans boating at night due to low visibility and particles. Boaters who take to the water at night time are endorsed to go away a waft plan with own family members or friends, make certain all lights are operating on the boat, and bring a completely charged cellphone or marine band radio to name for help.