Arcadia Lake closed to visitors

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EDMOND, Okla.-- Arcadia Lake has seen severe drought, problems with bacteria and now flooding due to a torrential rain storm.

Now lake officials are forced to pay for costly repairs that need to be made before the lake can open to the public.

Arcadia Lake has been closed since June 1.

Visitors may see driftwood and other debris on the roads leading up to the lake, which will all have to be cleaned up once the water level recedes.

Casey Moore, Edmond's Director of Public Relations, said, "At its highest level, we were 12 and a half feet over flood stage."

The lake was not only soaked by the May 31 storm but it also received a lot of water from Oklahoma City.

Moore said, "Four to seven inches, a lot of the runoff does come from the Oklahoma City area as well. So it wasn't just rain out here at the lake."

As more water flooded the lake, the Army Corps. of Engineers opened the gates to the dam to release water into the Deep Fork River.

However, a drowning in that river forced them to close the gates for recovery efforts.

Those gates were reopened Wednesday night and are now releasing 1,300-cubic-feet of water per second.

Officials say that means Arcadia Lake will drop up to a foot and a half of water per day.

With that in mind, experts say it won't take long for one of the area's most popular attractions to be back in business.

Moore said, "Without anything unforeseen, we will be able to reopen at some point next week. Hopefully early to mid-week."

The flooding has taken quite a financial toll on the area, as well.

In June of 2012, the lake made $120,000 from gate receipts and usage fees.

This year's totals obviously won't come near that amount.

But for one former resident of Moore, who didn't want to be identified is now calling Arcadia Lake home.

He and his wife discovered their rental house was demolished in the May 20 tornado in Moore.

The park is allowing them to stay here and an off-duty police officer brought by a blanket, food and clothing.

"We were kind of overwhelmed with it," he said.  "It's one of those things that almost makes you want to cry, you know, because somebody went that far to try to help somebody else."

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