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Lake Waurika Hits Record Low

While crews have been able to complete some routine lake maintenance like erosion control work and putting new flotation on all boat docks, it's mostly bad news when it comes to the drought's effects on the lake.
Lake Waurika continues to set a new record each day, but it's certainly not one to celebrate.

Louis Holstead, Waurika Lake manager, says, "This is a record low and we're pretty well setting a new record low every day."

The continuing drought has taken its toll on the lake, moving the shoreline to about 50 yards from the original shoreline and back to where it stands today."

"We're about 14.5 feet below normal pool," Holstead says. "About 40 percent of our pool is remaining available."

Holstead says the drought has been eating up the lake for about three-and-a-half years, since October 2010.

Now, he says less and less people are visiting the lake.

"I would say our visitation is down overall about 50 percent or maybe a little more," Holstead says.

It's also had a big impact on local business, especially at the Waurika Lake Marina and local bait shops.

Feeling the most impact, though, are the cities that depend on the lake for their water.

Those include Waurika, Lawton/Fort Sill, Duncan, Comanche, Temple, and Walters.

Each of those cities is in some form of water restrictions because of the low lake levels.

In fact, the City of Duncan expects to eliminate all outdoor watering if Lake Waurika reaches 40 percent capacity.

It's 40.5 percent full right now.

Lake officials plan to meet with state representatives and others for an Interagency Drought Management Committee meeting Tuesday to talk about lake levels and what can be done if they get any lower.

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