Some in Lee’s Summit worried about lake levels

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — The ongoing drought has taken a heavy toll on the Midwest and now some residents of a lake community in Lee’s Summit say they’re concerned about how the drought has basically drained their lake.

Some Lakewood Lakes residents contacted FOX 4 about the incredibly low lake levels because they feared there was some kind of problem with the dam. But the Lakewood Property Owners Association says that’s not the problem at all, the issue is simply rainfall.

Lakewood resident Wally Chatman has lived here 37 years and has never seen the lake looking like this.

“This lake is not spring fed, it’s fed by run off,” he says, “and we haven’t had any rain so we don’t have any water.”

Some residents worry the lake’s dams are faulty and some even called Federal agencies about it. So the homes association sent out a letter explaining that the dams were inspected in December and found to be “structurally sound.”

It blames low water levels on “natural seepage” and says that without any rainfall the lake loses “2 1/4 inches every week” or thousands of gallons per minute.

But the letter calls this amount “normal for dams or a lake the size of Lakewood lake.”

Some residents are angry. One told me off camera he doesn’t understand why he’s paying a boat slip fee when he can’t even use his boat. Another asked why the golf course is allowed to use the lake water for irrigation, when the water levels are so low? But Chatman says they can’t afford not to take care of the golf course.

“The golf course is a real asset for us, more so than the lake because we don’t have a lake but we have a beautiful golf course,” he said.

The Lakewood homes association says the docks have been damaged because of the problem. They are getting bids and plan to have them repaired by July. But only if there’s enough rain to get water levels back up.

“I guess we’ll get rain, I hope so,” says Chatman, “instead of being Lakewood we’ll just be called Wood,” he says laughing.

Lakewood Property Owners Association says it is also looking at options like improved grouting technology or installing water reclamation systems, but those options are quite costly.

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