The road leading to Bloomington Beach at Clinton Lake reopened Thursday. Road construction at the Bloomington swimming beach parking lot and entrance road are complete.
Lake Perry update
• Several roads will be barricaded because of flooding.
• Ninety of the 500 campsites are closed.
• Two of the eight boat ramps will be closed for the weekend.
• Beaches will be closed for the weekend.
• Visitors should be aware and look out for debris in the water.
The Fourth of July is a busy time at Clinton Lake, but not the busiest.
The Fourth of July weekend activity is actually behind Labor Day and Memorial Day.
Even so, an expected 50,000 visitors gives enough boost in business to keep park staff on its toes.
For John and Kay Simms of Lee’s Summit, Mo., it’s their first time camping at Clinton Lake. The couple said they chose to camp during the week instead of the weekend to avoid the rush and be able to go home to enjoy fireworks. The couple was enjoying some quiet time.
“No. 1, we’re not answering the phone all the time,” Kay said. “I love cooking outdoors — you don’t mess up your kitchen and it’s so peaceful being outdoors.”
Dave Rhoades, park manager with Army Corps of Engineers at Clinton Lake, expects all of the approximate 400 campsites to be full by the weekend. In fact, two-thirds of the sites were already reserved mid-way through last week. Water levels and weather conditions could determine reservation plans for some lake-goers.
“Hot and humid weather is probably the main reason why there are not as many people as other weekends, but we are still very busy,” Rhoades said.
Rhoades also said that although the water is high right now and some flooding has occurred, it is not a factor that will deter visitors. The water level is expected to stay high — just over 881 feet above sea level — for the weekend, and return to a normal 876 feet later this month.
Rhoades said campers actually like the higher water because it is closer to the campsites. However, for visitors wanting to lie on the beach, they will only have about half as much space. Rhoades said Bloomington Beach has been unusable for the past week, but that the part that is available should be open for the weekend.
However, the Clinton State Park Beach did not recover as well. Jerry Schecher, Clinton State Park manager, said the beach is completely underwater and will be closed for the weekend. Even with no beach Schecher said he expects the 500 campsites and six park shelters to be full this weekend.
“Everybody wants to be either in the water or on the water,” he said.
Because of water levels, several lake boat ramps will be unusable, but riders can still get in from the shoreline. The extra trouble will not inconvenience those with boats already in the water.
Megan Hiebert, owner of Clinton Marina, said the marina has close to 400 boat storage slips, which will create a lot of traffic throughout the weekend.
Kim Haig and her husband have kept their boat at the marina for 10 years. She said the family plans to spend the weekend at the lake.
“We’re huge water fans,” she said, “so we love being on the water and playing in the sun.”