SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Outdoor plans for Memorial Day weekend could be impacted by the recent heavy rains.
Water levels on the rivers and lakes all over the Ozarks are high, which adds risk to boating and floating. Table Rock Lake is close to 10 feet higher than average.
Hootentown Canoe Rental and Store in Crane, Missouri, isn’t going to take any chances. Their canoe rentals will not be operating this weekend.
Diana Newman, the owner of Hootentown Canoe, says she has spent most of the day taking and making phone calls to cancel bookings due to high water on James River.
“Not going to be able to put boats in,” said Newman. “Water is going to be too high; it’s too dangerous. The camping is going to be pretty soggy, but I’m thinking the campground is going to be under, so there is going to be less area that people can camp. We have Hootentown bridge marked on our side of the river, and if I can’t see part – or all – of the three, I don’t put my boats in. Just because the current is so strong, if you happen to flip, there’s no standing up, and it’s going to take you on down.”
Trooper Sam Carpenter, with the Highway Patrol, says they will be looking for anyone driving dangerously on the roads or in boats.
Carpenter asks that boaters keep things slow, with some lake levels being way up.