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Rising waters flood Kerr Lake campsites

Posted July 16, 2013

In the heat of summer, in the middle of July, a dip in the lake can seem like the perfect antidote. But some who planned to spend warm nights at a Kerr Lake campsite have found that Mother Nature got there first.

By Sunday, more than 10 percent of the available spaces – 75 of 600 campsites – were flooded. Lake levels have been running above normal for more than a month, and the lake was about five feet above normal on Monday.

"This is our busiest time of the year, so it's a greater impact to our visitors," said Park Superintendent Bryce Fleming.

Some campers had already settled in Friday when they were asked to move to higher ground. By Sunday morning, those spots were inundated.

"We hate to have to make that call to anybody that's got a reservation," Fleming said. He's seen 40 cancellations so far this season.

Seaton Blackwood, at Kerr Lake on vacation with his girlfriend's family, said water had risen to cover the area they expected would be a beach. 

"We're just taking full advantage of all this water," he said. "Tubing, riding the boat, wakeboarding, fishing." 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages flow to and from the lake, releasing water downstream to lower lake levels when necessary. They said Tuesday that they expect the campsites to be accessible by the weekend.

Blackwood doesn't mind that a little bit more water and fewer guests were present during his vacation week.

"I didn't want to leave. I'd have to go back to work if I did," he said.

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  • btneast Jul 17, 9:24 a.m.

    At one time, the picnic tables at the campgrounds were chained down to keep them from floating away.

  • living the dream Jul 16, 7:26 p.m.

    Rain fall north and mostly west towards Clarksville and westward affects inflow. Corp site details hourly that rate and is best indicator of rise or fall . Dan and Roanoke rivers mainly feed Kerr/buggs island. I''ve lived on the lake for past 10 years and 2013 has been a dooz for level changes.

  • countrylivinglover Jul 16, 5:45 p.m.

    Brings back memories of years ago when we owned property at Kerr Lake. Because docks that were allowed floated and were not allowed to be stationary on the NC side, you had to keep an eye on the weather reports and lake levels. It was nothing to have to make a mad dash from Raleigh to the lake to let the ropes out on the dock or take them in to keep the it from ending up in the trees or on dry beach.