Lake Mead's water levels present new danger to boaters - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Lake Mead's water levels present new danger to boaters

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Lake Mead's dropping water level is apparent in this undated file photo. (File/FOX5) Lake Mead's dropping water level is apparent in this undated file photo. (File/FOX5)
LAKE MEAD (FOX5) -

It's the busiest weekend of the year at Lake Mead. Between Friday and Memorial Day, an estimated 300,000 people will descend on Lake Mead National Recreation Area to boat, hike and camp.

What park rangers want boaters to know is that the weather can change quickly and danger lurks at the lake that wasn't present last year.

"In the last three months, the water levels dropped 20 feet, and by the Fourth of July, the water is expected to drop another 10 feet," said the National Park Service's Stephen Neal.

Neal said rocks that used to be a safe distance below the waterline are now a threat to boaters and those on personal watercrafts.

"Fifteen years ago, you could have come out to Lake Mead, walk along a dock situated here and could have gone fishing. Now look at the water levels. There are rocks protruding up now. You have to be really careful," Neal said.

It's not just boaters who need to be careful. The recreation area presents risks to hikers as well.

"Last year temperatures reach 120. We had those record marks, and people came out here to hike and, unfortunately, some people lost their lives," Neal said.

According to the National Park Service, rangers dealt with one death and the rescues of 15 people in separate incidents at the lake last Sunday alone.

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