Lakes still open despite high water levels

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Cheney Lake is open this Fourth of July holiday but the lake is a lot deeper weeks after heavy rain.

David Zumwalt brought his extended family out to the lake, which is still about five feet deeper than normal.

“We’ve got family from Louisiana, we’ve got family from Ellinwood,” he said. “We knew the water would be high.”

For his family, it’s a yearly tradition but even they’ve had to make some changes.

“Our sailboat… we can’t get it in the water,” he said. “The crane, the base of the crane is under water so we can’t lift it off the trailer.”

Others who were at the lake Tuesday night, said the water levels now look much better than days and even weeks ago.

“The beach was this parking lot for a period of time and that was not do-able,” said Ron Means, Wichita resident.

Ron Means and his beach boat we’re at the lake during the worst of the flooding and he was happily surprised there isn’t more damage.

“What I’m relieved at is that we’re not finding debris in the water,” Means said. “We thought we’d have to temper our excitement and look for trees and picnic items and other items.”

In an online post, the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism website said that cabins on the east shore are open, but that parts of the east shore were blocked off. Other campgrounds on the west shore were also closed but utility sites that are open are already booked.

Despite the difficulties, Zumwalt’s family said the time spent on the lake, is still worth it.

“This is a nice place, great state park,” he said.

For more alerts at Cheney and to find alerts issued for other parks in the state, click here

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to


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