High water at Wappapello Lake affecting businesses, recreation

Flooding impacts Wappapello lake

WAYNE COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - High water caused by the drawn-out wet weather this Spring is taking a toll on businesses and recreational activities at Lake Wappapello.

Millie Rogers is the owner of a gas station and convenience store that has been near the lake for decades.

She says she has been keeping a close eye on the river gauge and the weather forecast the entire year.

“For years we had no flooding problems and then boom. How many times has the lake flooded recently? It’s unreal," Rogers said. "And we had to worry all Spring because it kept raining it kept raining and we still weren’t sure that it wouldn’t wind up going over the dam and washing the road out again.“

Rogers says there has been a mixture busy days and really slow days this season and it all depends on the weather.

“It affects how I scheduled the workers how many people I need in here every day," Roger said. If you’re going to have a bad day and it’s going to storm you don’t need much help, but if the sun comes out you better have some help in here.”

Park Ranger Andrew Jefferson with the US Army Corps of engineers says the lake’s water level is slowly going down but is still more than 16 feet above average as of Wednesday May 15.

“It has impacted some of our recreational opportunities, but not all," Jefferson said. "As an example all three of our beaches Redmond creek, rock Wood point, and people‘s creek are all closed. They were all due to open on April 26 this year.”

Jefferson tells me their goal is to reopen the flooded beaches, boat ramps and some lower campsites by July 4th.

“Once the clean up effort starts it’s going to be all hands on deck," Jefferson said. "We want to make sure that the roads are clear mud and debris and stuff that floats in especially after a flood.“

Some of the main boat ramps are still open and hundreds of people have been reserving campsites including the Greenville location which officially after being closed for renovation for two years on Monday May 20th.

Jefferson says the revamped camping area has 110 spots, wider roads and parking spots for RV’s among other features.

“The campground really is used as a tool to stimulate the town of Greenville,” Jefferson said. “At each campsite the electricity is going to increased to 50 amps and there will be water and sewer at each one of the sites.”

Jefferson added that the higher water on the lake can be unpredictable and is urging boaters, fishers and swimmers of all ages to wear their life jackets.

“One drowning or one fatality is one to many and always wear that life jacket because they only work if you wear them,” Jefferson said. “So come on out to Wappapello Lake and enjoy yourself, but make sure you do it in a safe manner.”

The following facilities at Wappapello Lake are closed for high water:

  • All 3 US Army Corp of Engineer beaches
  • Peoples Creek Recreation Area and it’s Lower Campground
  • Chaonia Landing South Boat Ramp
  • Snow Creek Campground
  • Greenville Boat Ramp
  • Possum Creek Boat Ramp
  • Pisos Point Boat Ramp
  • Rockwood Point Boat Ramp
  • Rockwood Landing Boat Ramp
  • Sulphur Springs Boat Ramp
  • Sundowner Restoom ONLY

Facilities that are currently open for use include:

  • Chaonia North Boat Ramp
  • Peoples Upper Campground
  • Redman Creek Recreation Area
  • Redman East & West Campground
  • Sundowner Boat Ramp
  • Eagle Point Recreation Area
  • Spillway Recreation Area
  • Several remote boat ramps and access areas

For more information contact the Management Office at (573) 222-8562, or the Information hotline at (573) 222-8139 or toll-free at 1-877-LAKE INFO (525-3463).

As of May 15, the lake level was at 376.59 and has crested and is continuing to fall with a current outflow of 4,200 cubic feet per second.

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