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High water not deterring the fun at Smithville Lake

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SMITHVILLE, Mo. – A week of wild weather in the metro has finally turned into a beautiful July 4th weekend, and people are taking full advantage of a fantastic weather.

Just from the water’s edge off County Road W at Smithville Lake, it was hard to tell that the lake is nearly 8 feet higher than normal. But a closer look across the water at a nearby bridge, boaters could be seen using more caution than usual—the water is so high that boaters could reach out and touch the bottom of the structure.

The high water didn’t have too many people concerned though.

Joy Budine and her husband drove around Smithville Lake last week, to make sure it was safe to enjoy this weekend. Clay County says the water is about 7 ½ feet higher than normal, due to recent rains and flooding.

“It’s a lot higher than it usually is this time of the year. We’re glad it’s not raining so we can get out on the lake today,” said Budine, who says that she has friends in from out-of-town and one of their favorite activities is a trip to Smithville Lake.

Despite the wet weather and higher lake levels, Clay County Commissioner Luann Ridgeway says the body of water is holding up just fine.

“It was built for a flood control lake so it’s doing exactly what it’s meant to do, it’s controlling flooding,” said Ridgeway. She said the county has worked hard to make sure people could enjoy the 4th of July weekend on the water.

“Nature can be fickle, but everybody’s out here having a great time,” said Ridgeway.

Meanwhile, Budine has friends in from out of town. She said, “This is one of their favorite activities to do in Missouri is come to Smithville Lake.”

Five-year-old Ayla and her parents came down from Massachusetts.

“I like going in the water and I really like going in a boat. The wind goes in my hair and I like it a lot,” said Ayla.

Since the higher water levels aren’t dampening plans, Ayla is free to celebrate much more than Independence Day. To her, it’s all about, “My birthday!”

The county says all boat ramps, the Paradise Point Golf Course, and the disc golf courses are all open as normal. Click here for the most up-to-date information from Clay County about Smithville Lake conditions and water levels. Once at that website, click to the link to “like” the County’s Facebook Page, and you’ll get updates in your newsfeed.