Flooding closes recreation areas as holiday weekend under way
Campers, fishermen and boaters will feel the effect through Labor Day weekend of recent storms that dumped 2 to 3 inches of rain on parts of seven Southwestern Pennsylvania counties.
The Pittsburgh District of the Army Corps of Engineers announced on Friday that high water has forced it to limit recreational use of its lakes and other facilities in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Public affairs specialist Dan Jones said it's unfortunate the closures came during one of the busiest vacation weekends of the year, but the Corps felt it was necessary because of the hazards the high waters pose.
“We just had such a large amount of rainfall in such a short period of time over such a wide area, there was really no choice,” he said. “We wanted to get the word out there for people to check before they waste money on gas driving out only to find when they get there that their favorite camping, beach or boat launch area is closed.”
At Conemaugh Lake in Indiana and Westmoreland counties, Aultman's Run and Bow Ridge boat ramps are closed. They are expected to remain closed through the holiday weekend.
At Armstrong County's Crooked Creek Lake, Tunnelville Beach and the boat launch are closed through Monday because of high water and cleanup requirements.
The boat launch and campground at Loyalhanna Lake in Westmoreland's Bush Recreation Area will remain closed through the weekend because of high water and cleanup requirements.
Doe Run Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area at Tygart Lake in Grafton, W.Va., south of Fairmont, has closed. It may reopen by Sunday.
In Fayette and Somerset counties, the Youghiogheny Lake Mill Run Recreation Area will have a partial campground closure. The facility's beach and launch ramp; Jockey Hollow Boat Launch; Tub Run Campground, beach and walk-in tent sites; and the spillway recreation area and beach are expected to remain closed through the weekend.
The counties where heavy rain fell Wednesday morning and afternoon were Armstrong, Crawford, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Somerset and Westmoreland.
“It's been a very long time” since closures over such a large area were ordered, Jones said.
“Only last year, we had to close a couple of boat launch areas this time of year because of the lack of water because we had so little rain,” he said. “But we are hoping we are able to open up some of the areas this weekend. People will have to just keep on checking with the facility they plan to visit.”
Jones warned people who have private docks along the lakes to use “extreme caution” if they take out boats.
“We issued that warning because many hazards that were on shore, such as logs or posts, are now afloat in the water. And some of the hazards close to shore are covered by water,” he said.
“We hope anyone venturing out uses extreme caution, because those hazards do exist,” Jones said.
Visitors should check status updates before traveling to the lakes. The Corps warned visitors to use extreme caution while on the lake during any high-water period.
For daily lake information, check on the recreation locations via the Internet at http://www.lrp.usace.army.mil/Missions/WaterManagement/Reser voirForecast.aspx or via Facebook.
Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Snow, freezing rain, bitter cold coming to Western Pa.
- Jerome Bettis to be enshrined in hall of fame
- Suggestions are aplenty on what Penguins need to break through
- Tennessee quarterback Peterman considers transfer to Pitt
- Springdale trestle bridge deemed structurally sound
- Starkey: Pitt needs this version of James Robinson
- As banking goes mobile, branch closures rip through local economy
- Iraqi libraries ransacked
- Voters opt for ‘Don’t Know’ in 2016 presidential race, poll finds
- Familiar Downtown Pittsburgh presence lost arm, leg to train
- Gulls fleeing frozen Great Lakes fill skies over Pittsburgh’s Point