GRAPEVINE (CBSDFW.COM) – Boat ramps are reopening at Lake Grapevine – just in time for the last holiday weekend of the summer.
The ramp at Katie’s Woods Park reopened late last week, and two more will follow.
On Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers opened the high water ramp at Murrell Park in Flower Mound.
On Friday, Grapevine’s Parks and Recreation department will open the popular Dove Loop ramp.
Lake Grapevine is experiencing the effects of flooding to a greater extent than other North Texas lakes.
As of Wednesday, the elevation was just under 541 feet – about five feet above the conservation (normal) pool.
“Most of the other lakes are back to conservation pool. Ours is not. We can only release a certain amount of water. We don’t want to get back in a situation where Coppell and those downstream are flooded, so it is a very slow release of water,” said Kevin Mitchell, Director of Parks and Recreation for Grapevine.
But with one ramp open this week – boaters are already hitting the water.
Friends Jason Steinle, Chris Cain and Jeff Kirkhuff took a work break to fish on Wednesday morning. They found they had the lake almost to themselves.
“It was beautiful out there. So nice to have a ramp open,” said Steinle.
For the friends, it was the first outing on Lake Grapevine this year.
“We’ll be back fishing. The holiday weekend will be full out here,” said Cain.
Kirkhuff says he can only think of two other times in the last 35 years where the water was as high as it was this summer. He’s excited to be back in the boat.
“When my boys get out of football today, I’m going to bring them back out,” he said.
While the lake’s elevation is still higher than normal, it’s moving in the right direction.
Lake Grapevine was elevated to 560 feet on July 4th and 555 feet on Memorial Day.
“It seems minor to get a boat ramp open, but for us, to get something open for our patrons and guests is great news. Baby steps,” said Mitchell.
It’s also good news for businesses along the lake.
Matt Armand owns Big Daddy’s Ship Store, a family restaurant and store on the lake.
When the lake ramps were closed, the only traffic came from boats in the water at marinas.
It made for a tough summer.
“May was a lot slower because of all the rain we got. June was a lot slower because of all the flooding, all the aftermath,” said Armand.
But with the final fireworks show of the summer this Friday, he’s hoping for a great Labor Day weekend turnout.
“We’ll have live entertainment, dinner specials, stuff like that,” Armand said. “The boat ramps being open are a big help.”
Fireworks at Lake Grapevine will launch around 9:30 this Friday night.
On Saturday, September 12, the City of Grapevine is hosting a community cleanup. Volunteers are encouraged to come out and help clean up the trash and debris washed up into many of the lakefront parks. The event begins at 8 a.m.
“Fall is a great season on the lake, so I don’t think it will be a last push by any means,” said Mitchell.
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