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Reservoir water levels rise, causing closures at Lake Pueblo State Park

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COLORADO -

It may be a popular spot for boaters, but Lake Pueblo is on a mission: to store water for nearby municipalities to use. The drought contingency plan is made even more critical by current dry snow conditions.

"It’s just fortunate that we have this amount of storage and in a year like this when we see those dry snow conditions," said Roy Vaughan, facility manager at Pueblo's U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Vaughan helps monitor these water levels and pointed out there's more than 86 million gallons of water currently stored in Lake Pueblo.

"It’s just like a bank they can draw out of it what they need to get them through those dry years," Vaughan said.

Thanks to prior, more rain-filled years, the water has been accumulating and the tides have continued to swell, reaching their highest level yet.

Since water levels are past the point where boats can safely launch, the boat ramp at the South Shore Marina is closed. The N-1 cove and North Picnic Ground have shut down too.

Despite the closures, lake visitors understand where priorities stand.

"Recreation come second responsibility and safety comes first," said boater Mark Law.

But park guests won't be left high and dry for too long.

"As we go through those dry cycles that water that’s stored will be drawn down," Vaughan said, "and then we won’t see these high elevations this time of year."

Due to flood control, over half a million gallons will be released into the Arkansas River on April 15th. 

Once water levels start coming down again, areas will start re-opening, making the trip for visitors even more worthwhile.

"Look how beautiful all this is," Law remarked, "it’s worth a trip down do Denver just to look at it."

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