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Arcadia Lake Closed Indefinitely After Flood, Storm Damage

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By Stan Miller, NEWS 9

EDMOND, Oklahoma – Monday's flooding caused major damage in the metro and Arcadia Lake took a hard hit.

The lake staff held a news conference Wednesday saying reopening would be slow going. They need to make sure the areas downstream are ready to take the excess water from Arcadia.

"The downstream between here and Lake Eufaula is flooded seven to eight feet above flood level. As soon as that water recedes we can release some water here and hopefully pretty quick," said Leon Mixer, Arcadia Lake Staff.

It will be a monumental job to clean 26 miles of shoreline that looks like a landfill on water. The cleanup will begin after the Army Corps of Engineers decides it's safe to open the dam and let some of the flood water head downstream.

Ralph Courtright is one of a handful of campers who decided to stay. He camps here every year from April through October and said he's making the best of it and even landing some good catfish that are rummaging through the debris.

But boaters can do nothing but stare at their boats and wait.

Some campers like Mark McCrary had to move their campsite when the flooding began.

"Moved up to higher ground--about the time we left the water was coming up to the camp area over the picnic table, so we got out of there just in time," McCrary said.

McCrary said he will give it another week, and says he is confident his family will be water skiing soon.

The Army Corp of Engineers has total control over the dam and waters, and said it may have to re-open the lake in stages like they did during the massive storms of 2007. The difference is, Monday the lake crested about 11 inches higher than it did in 2007.

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