GODDARD, Kan. (KAKE) - There's a chance of severe weather in parts of Kansas on Saturday afternoon into the evening as hundreds of people plan to go camping and enjoy the weekend by the lake at parks across Kansas.

Friday afternoon Lake Afton was already busy with tons of campers and tents being set up while people began to kick off the holiday weekend. Kids were running around playing soccer, people were floating on the water, and everyone was spending time with their loved ones.

"Everybody around the lake it's like we're one big family," said Felicia Ryder who is one of the lakes visitors this weekend.

She says she comes every year and looks forward to catching up with her family. As her kids have gotten older and have their own lives now, she says this time is even more special.

"It's nice we play. Oh my goodness croquet, we get to play horse shoes. There's plenty to do," she said.

While hundreds like Ryder will be boating, swimming, camping, fishing, and more there's one thing they need to watch out for.

"Through the day on Saturday all forms of severe weather will be possible. Large hail, high winds, maybe even tornadoes," said KAKE Meteorologist Frank Waugh.

Waugh says people need to be weather aware and have several ways to get alerts while out having fun this weekend. You can still celebrate, just pay extra attention to the weather and what is expected to happen.

One of the worst places you can be in during a severe weather event is in a tent, camper, or in the middle of the lake. Several parks have safety precautions in place but they say the best thing to do is leave if things are looking to get really bad and then come back.

"We do recommend that your best course of exit is probably going to be exit the park and return later," said the Sedgwick County Parks Superintendent Aaron Bailey.

One of five storm shelters at Lake Afton


If you are at the lake when severe weather hits, Lake Afton has five storm shelters around the park. They are concrete buildings with a green roof built into the ground. Each building also has a red sign labeling it as a storm shelter. 

Cheney State Park says it doesn't have any official storm shelters but it recommends the concrete bathrooms as a place people can go in the case of bad weather. They also say they check their tornado siren once a month to make sure it's working.

El Dorado Lake says it has no storm shelters but it has rangers who will go around the park letting people know there's a chance of severe weather and advising they leave.

While the parks say they do their best to keep people safe they also stress for people to pay attention and be proactive. Have a plan to leave safely if it's looking like things are going to be bad.

"We definitely recommend wherever people may be camping or boating just meeting with the main office or at least looking at the map to see where those safe shelters may be located at," said Sedgwick County's Director of Emergency Management Julie Stimson.

We want you to enjoy your holiday weekend. Just make sure to be weather aware while doing so and if it looks like things are going to get bad, leave. KAKE News will keep you covered both on air and online.