April 19th GRDA Update
Grand River Dam Authority Police Department
EMERGENCY Call 911 GRDA Police Dispatch 918-256-0911
At the direction of the Corps of Engineers, GRDA opened 5 floodgates at Pensacola Dam yesterday to reduce water levels at Grand lake. Pool elevation at Grand Lake is currently at 745, and with a chance of 3 to 6 inches of rain forecast for this week within our watershed, steps are being taken to reduce current levels. Additional details can be found at GRDA.com.
Mark Your Calendar for GRDA Lake & River Events
If you are already making plans for the next few months, the Grand River Dam Authority wants to suggest a few things you could add to your calendar. Recently, GRDA released its “2017 Lake Events” schedule and once again, there is something for everyone.
- It is always safety first, so we want to remind you of the latest round of the Kyle Williams Boater Safety Education courses. Free to the public, the courses are required for any children ages 12 to 16 (without a driver’s license) who plan to operate a boat or any vessel of more than 10 horsepower or a sailing vessel 16 feet or longer on the water this summer. For more information on the courses scheduled forApril 29th, May 20th or June 24th, call Jamie Flud at (918) 256-0880.
- Don't forget the upcoming GRDA Lake Launch, The Grand Fiesta!Now in its 6th year, this annual event is a great opportunity for lake enthusiasts to meet the GRDA Lake Operations Team. It will be held on Friday, May 5, from 6PM to 9PM at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley. It’s free to the public, so come enjoy the evening.
- The GRDA Scenic Rivers Operation Team is planning an Illinois River Kick-Off event for Saturday, May 13th. Diamondhead Resort will host this family-friendly event. It’s open to the public and will be a great opportunity for GRDA to promote water safety on the river this summer too. Remember, whether you’re headed to the lake or the river, ALWAYS wear your life jacket. The Scenic River Kick-Off will have food, music and something for all ages. For more information on this event, contact GRDA Scenic River Operations at (918) 456-3251.
- The Grand Lake Shoreline Cleanup is slated for June 3rd.
- “A Grand Adventure” summer camps are also on the schedule for July 20 & 21.
For more information on any of the events mentioned here, visit the Lake Information/2017 Lake Events link on grda.com.
All it took was for one person to fail to heed the audible and visual warnings at the low water dam on the Grand River last week to result in the deployment of rescue personnel. A fisherman that was standing on the rocks of the low water dam east of Sportsman Acres ignored the warning signals and was soon trapped on the rocks by rising water moving at a velocity that would easily overwhelm a person. The resulting response included ten officers from GRDA Police and a dozen other responders from surrounding agencies including the Pryor and Locust Grove Fire Departments, Mayes County Deputies and MESTA. Before officers even arrived on the scene, the order was given to stop generation at Kerr Dam to reduce the level of water in the river. But it's not like turning off a tap. The two mile trek of the rising waters from the dam will take hours to recede. Responders quickly deployed to deliver a life jacket to the victim as he stood precariously perched on a single rock above the raging waters. Officers developed a plan of action based on the dynamics of the event that included the deployment of three boats and ropes to ensure a rapid rescue of the victim should he fall into the water. Once the water in the river fell to a safe level, officers were able to safely rescue the victim from his place of entrapment. We were lucky this time. All too often, these types of incidents result in a recovery as opposed to a rescue. The successful ending of this event was accomplished in part due to the response of the GRDA officers.
The police officers of GRDA are widely recognized for providing professional police services within the state of Oklahoma. But what makes these officers unique among other police agencies is the ability to provide rescue services to those in danger. GRDA Police officers are trained and equipped for swift water rescue, boat operations, search & rescue, technical rope rescue and confined spaces rescues. We were fortunate that this particular incident had a positive outcome due to the rapid and calculated response of the GRDA officers and other responders who are willing to put themselves in harms way in order to save the life of a complete stranger. The wailing sirens and flashing lights that are used to warn of water releases below our dams and spillways are there for a reason, to keep you safe! When alerted by these warning signals, you should always move to an area of safety away from the rapidly rising and flowing water.
Did You Know?
The most recent Coast Guard statistics reveal that there were 626 boating fatalities nationwide. Of those that died, 71% had NO boating education.
Navigation Aids Upgraded
In an effort to repair damage that high waters have created in recent years to the navigation controls on our lakes, GRDA Police are currently working on a project for the replacement of navigation buoys and lighthouses.
The fluctuation of water levels in recent years has wreaked havoc on navigation buoys, many of which are currently subject to a replacement project that has been underway for several months to improve navigation aids to assist boaters using our waters. While the buoys installed and maintained by GRDA are primarily warning devices for the convenience of the public, and should not be relied upon solely as navigational aids, they do provide assistance to vessel operators to warn about hazards and restrictions. For that reason, GRDA has been working for months to repair and replace many of the buoys and lighthouses that have been destroyed by Oklahoma weather and boats.
Not only will you notice the replacement of many of the navigational buoys, but most lighthouses on Grand lake will also be replaced as part of the improvement project. Those lighthouses that mark our islands will be replaced in the near future with large buoys that have high-intensity lighting. Land-borne lighthouses will also be replaced as part of the project with pole mounted high-intensity lighting.
Other improvements include the installation of larger buoys within the channels of the lake that are much easier for boaters to see in daylight and at night.
4-20-17 COSTA FLW SERIES GRAND WOLF CREEK 200 Boats
4-21-17 COSTA FLW SERIES GRAND WOLF CREEK 200 Boats
4-22-17 COSTA FLW SERIES GRAND WOLF CREEK 200 Boats
4-22-17 PLUMB BASSIN LAKE GRAND LAKEMONT SHORES 20 Boats
4-23-17 FUTURE BASS TRAILS GRAND SOUTHWIND 60 Boats
Numbers to Call:
GRDA Police Dispatch 918-256-0911
GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center 918-782-4726
GRDA Lake Permits 918-256-0852
GRDA Pensacola Dam Tours & Facility Information 918-256-0899