Waurika, Oklahoma -
Officials at Waurika Lake are getting ready for a busy Fourth of July weekend but first they want to make sure lakegoers know what to expect.
Waurika Lake Assistant Lake Manager Peat Robinson says says they are seeing a lot more reservations than they have in a while and even though the lake sits at 15 feet below normal, he say people still need to take the necessary precautions to stay safe.
The U.S. Corps of Engineers at the lake expect a high number of people to flock to the Oklahoma lake.
However, Robinson says the devastating drought is taking its toll.
"It's a different lake because it's considerably smaller than it was and shallower than it was," Robinson exclaims.
Robinson says five of the lake's nine boat ramps are closed to the public because it's too shallow to launch a boat.
He encourages boaters to be aware of their surroundings while out on the water.
"There's a lot of good water still out there but there are some areas to be concerned about," Robinson says. "There is some shallow water and some stumps that are probably exposed that are not typically exposed."
Last June, three people, including a 12 year old boy, drowned in the lake.
Robinson says safety is a top priority in hopes of avoiding these types of tragedies.
He says, "Typically, a lot of people like to come. They like to consume alcohol. About 50% of all drownings are alcohol-related so that's another factor. We want people to enjoy themselves but we want them to be careful as well.
Robinson says anyone who plans on being in the water should wear a life vest that is in good condition and fits properly.
The Waurika Volunteer Fire Department is helping people usher in America's birthday with a bang.
They will shoot off fireworks starting at dusk.
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