Boat Ramps Will Close On Buckeye Lake During July Fourth Celebration

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Boat ramps at Buckeye Lake will be closed during July Fourth celebrations.

The state is taking the action after a request by firefighters, who are concerned about boaters getting stuck in shallow waters while watching Friday's "Blast" fireworks show.

Boating on Buckeye Lake is restricted this year because the state is keeping water at low levels fearing the aging dam will break.

Rick Dupler has lived at Buckeye Lake since 1962 and is the owner of a 22 foot pontoon boat which has been gathering dust this summer in his driveway.

“It’s upsetting,” said Dupler.  “We just are not able to get out in our boats and it is disappointing."

Dupler typically is on Buckeye Lake for July Fourth celebrations, but this year he'll be watching the fireworks show from the shore. 

The state is keeping the lake at low levels because of the aging dam and it means boaters like Dupler are having to follow some new rules.  

David Levacy is a Fairfield County Commissioner and owner of the Buckeye Lake Marina.  He said the state decided to close the boat ramps Friday afternoon which will limit the number of boaters on Buckeye Lake.    

"With visitors coming to the lake, they may not be familiar with the shallow areas of the lake and actually get in trouble, we don't want to see that happen,” said Levacy.

"The boats being out in the water at dark, not being able to see the hazards that normally wouldn't be there, and we figured for safety sake the best thing to do would be to close the boat ramps to try and curb some of the boat traffic,” said Millersport Fire Chief Bob Price.

 

Hamburg Fireworks is putting on the show at Buckeye Lake and workers have spent days getting ready for the celebration.  And despite the troubles on Buckeye Lake, Dupler said he's ready for it.

"Even in times like this we can still have a lot of fun,” said Dupler.

The fireworks show begins at 10 p.m. Friday at Buckeye Lake.

Because of the low water levels, the annual July Fourth Boat Parade on Buckeye Lake has been canceled this year.

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