BELL COUNTY - Many people will look to get out on the water on a warm Texas spring break week, but this week a cold one may have to do. Temperatures in Bell County won't get over 70 until Thursday. The good news, however, is that Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow lake are at normal levels for the first time since 2009.
Park Ranger Brad Ellis said both lakes are open and, for the first time in a long time, there will not be any issues getting a boat out anywhere on the lake. But the effect of last year's flooding will be affecting lake parks this year.
Temple Lake Park and Westcliff park will not be open during spring break. Ellis says they won't be ready until April 1. Sparta Valley Park is closed indefinitely.
At Temple Lake Park, the bathrooms have been demolished. The facilities were so badly damaged that the Army Corps of Engineers decided to replace them entirely. When that park opens next month, park goers will have to use portable bathrooms until the new bathrooms are in place.
At Westcliff park, the tables and shelters damaged by last years flooding must be repaired and painted. The restrooms are intact but must be remodeled.
Sparta Valley Park has major road damage as a result of the flooding and there is no projected date for the location to open at this time.
The Army Corps of Engineers said they see around 100,000 visits to Belton lake and Stillhouse Hollow lake each spring break. While they don't know if the parks will see those numbers this year, Ellis and other park rangers will be ready to assist guests as the week begins.
He expects the coming summer to be especially busy.
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