HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ)- Raystown Lake saw a dip in attendance this Labor Day Weekend due to the flooding from Hurricane Ida. Many of their popular attractions were closed this year, including the beach, boat launches, and recreation areas.
The water at the lake rose 12 feet above its average level of 786 feet. That produced up to 20 billion extra gallons of water. According to the park’s numbers, that brings the total amount of water in the lake to 187.5 billion gallons.
Raystown Lake park ranger Jacob Hohman says that the campsites usually fill up at 100 percent capacity. The park had to cancel 30 percent of the reservations due to those specific campsites being flooded. However, he says that most people were very understanding of the cancellations and closures.
“For the most part, everyone was pretty understanding,” Hohman said. “When your campsite is underwater, it makes it pretty difficult to camp there. Same with the boat launches, when the roads leading up to the boat launch are closed. It makes it pretty hard to launch your boat.”
Hohman even mentioned another part of the attendance drop was due to people still suffering from flooding issues in their areas.
One of the only attractions open during the weekend was the Spillway. The park released water from the dam nearby to lower the water levels. Folks gathered around the site to take pictures and potentially get splashed by the water. It is not often that the park releases water from the dam; Hohman called it a spectacular sight.
“Whereas usually our parking lots full at the boat launches and beaches at the holiday weekend,” Hohman said. “The parking lots at the dam filled up much more quickly this weekend.”
Hohman says they expect the campground site to reopen on Tuesday. The boat launches reopening will be contingent on the water levels and the amount of debris that needs to be cleaned up.
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