Fort Worth

Hitting the lake for Memorial Day? What’s open, what’s closed for the holiday weekend

At Big Daddy’s Ship Store on Lake Grapevine, a little high water isn’t going to ruin Memorial Day Weekend.

Despite Lake Grapevine being more 16 feet into its flood pool and the parking lot being underwater, the floating restaurant plans to open for the holiday weekend.

“A lot of boaters will still get out,” said Matthew Armand, one of Big Daddy’s owners. “We’ll still be busy.”

The restaurant has a 500-foot floating bridge to bring in supplies across the engorged lake. Its parking lot is closed, forcing patrons to park in a field.

The normal route to the restaurant along Oak Grove Loop South is also closed from the high water, making visitors detour to Oak Grove Road Loop North to get there.

“It’s definitely makes things harder,” Armand said.

Lake Grapevine is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir that is designed to hold back floodwaters to prevent downstream flooding. The high water has forced Grapevine to close all of its city parks and boat ramps around the lake.

If the rains stop, Armand guesses it could still be late June or early July before the water recedes from their parking lot.

It’s similar story at Lake Benbrook, another Corps reservoir, that’s more than 14 feet above normal. All Corps parks and boat ramps are closed, but the lake’s level has dropped from a week ago when it was inches from going over the spillway.

Joe Pool Lake, which straddles Tarrant, Dallas and Ellis counties, is also more than 8 feet above normal, which has kept the popular Oasis restaurant shut down since Mother’s Day. Parks are open but boat ramps are closed.

Locally, Lake Worth, which is owned by the City of Fort Worth, is closed to boat traffic since wakes could flood some low-lying structures.

Other lakes such as Eagle Mountain, Lake Bridgeport and Lake Arlington are back to near-normal levels, meaning it should be a typical Memorial Day weekend. Twin Points Park at Eagle Mountain Lake, which has a man-made beach, is open.

The National Weather Service said there are only “minimal rain chances” this weekend, but heat indexes will climb into the low to mid-90s. Wind gusts of 25-30 mph are also possible and boaters are urged to use caution.

At Augie’s Sunset Cafe on Eagle Mountain Lake, it appeared the holiday weekend was off to an early start.

On Friday morning, one customer answered the phone at the popular lakeside restaurant and bar.

“I live on the coast,” said Bill Warren. “I came up for the weekend. They’ve got bands and stuff. It should be really busy the next few days. It should be a lot of fun.”

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Bill Hanna is an award-winning reporter who has covered just about every beat at the Star-Telegram. He currently covers Arlington but also writes about a variety of subjects including weather, wildlife, traffic and health.