- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—LAKE WYLIE — Duke Energy is closing boat ramps on Lake Wylie as lingering drought conditions lower water levels.

“To ensure the safety of boaters and protect property, some boat ramps will be closed due to these declining lake levels,” company spokeswoman Jennifer Jabon said Tuesday morning. “We are currently assessing the Duke Energy public boat ramps on Lake Wylie to determine if any will be closed today.”

The company will release more information on drought conditions this afternoon, which will further address boat ramp closures.

Ramps at Copperhead Island in Mecklenburg County and Ebenezer Park in Rock Hill are managed by those counties, while the rest fall under Duke management.

As of Tuesday morning, staff at Ebenezer still had their ramps open though they are keeping an eye on conditions, noticing lower water levels of late.

Tuesday marks the 16th straight day where Lake Wylie sat more than four feet below full pond. Under normal conditions, three feet below is the target and six feet below is the minimum level before the shallowest water intakes or other environemental factors are threatened.

Joe Stowe, executive director of the Lake Wylie Marine Commission, found out about the closings Monday night. Stowe had received calls about low water for weeks, and had warned residents to be mindful of a lower lake level. Still, Stowe didn’t expect ramp closings this soon.

“I didn’t realize we were to the point of closing boat ramps,” Stowe said.

Boat ramps last closed during the record 2007 drought. Fishing tournaments, charity and community events were canceled or postponed then. Ramps closed over a period of several months as conditioned worsened. Some events still launched out of the Nivens Creek ramp in Fort Mill — by fall of 2007 the only ramp still open on Wylie.

During a 2002 drought, all ramps closed.

Check back for more.

John Marks: 803-831-8166, @JohnFMTimes

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(c)2015 the Lake Wylie Pilot (Lake Wylie, S.C.)

Visit the Lake Wylie Pilot (Lake Wylie, S.C.) at www.lakewyliepilot.com

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Topics: t000002925,t000040213,t000393697,t000003788

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