Lauderdale County, Miss. Flooding rains during April caused Okatibbee Lake serious problems during April and May. Many campgrounds had to be closed due to the high water. Fortunately, a drier May has allowed flood waters to recede allowing all parks and campgrounds to be re-opened for the holiday weekend.
Park ranger Gary Hardin said, "Our campgrounds have been flooded for the last few weeks but the water has gone down and we are going to have the campground open this Friday and our swimming beaches Saturday. So we are expecting a good crowd for the Memorial Holiday."
Another part of the park affected by flood waters was Splashdown Water Park. Park rangers say that despite the delay in preparations, the park will be ready for a busy weekend.
According to Ranger Paul Govedare, "It’s a real busy weekend; especially with the harsh winter we had everyone is ready to get out in the sun. We were a little slowed with the high water and the clean up. It washed some debris in, but we will be ready to go Saturday at 11 a.m."
With so many people converging on Okatibbee Lake for weekend fun, safety becomes a concern. But Hardin has some tips to help keep you safe.
Hardin says, "If you are going to be out on the water, make sure you don't swim alone. And always swim in a designated swimming area. We are going to have a lot of people swimming, camping, fishing, all different kinds of water activities and we want everyone to be safe during the holiday."