Oh, to hear those words again: “Lake Mead, filled with the flood waters of the Colorado River, is close to its capacity…”
On this day in 1983, Review readers are treated to front page news (with a big picture!) Around the lake is close to its capacity. In fact, the lake was so full that the sewers of the Hoover Dam opened weeks earlier on July 3, creating a show for tourists. This was the first time that sewage channels were opened since 1941. The dam was opened in 1936.
The Bureau of Reclamation said the lake reached its highest elevation of 1,225.85 feet on July 24, 1983.
The lake was 1,040.99 feet deep (above sea level) as of Wednesday, about 27 percent of its capacity. A year ago, it was 1,067.89 feet deep.
parties in the dam
In a 1983 article, Royal Jordanian said that “the overgrown lake has swallowed up beaches and inundated roads and boat ramps.” Drainage channels opened due to “unprecedented snowfall” in the Rockies.
And when the drainage channels opened, visitors flocked to the dam to see the rare sight.
Reporter Jane M. Hall wrote: “The force of the water passing through the drainage channels releases a thick mist that prompts some tourists to dig awnings from the trunks of cars.” “Dam security guards report all-night parties where young people, whose favorite beaches have been devoured by the lake, use the waterways as their party site.”
“We’re getting all the bums on the beach,” L.A. Jacobsen, the chief of police at Hoover Dam, told RJ. “We had a wet shirt competition here one night with about 15 young women.”
One tourist in California told RJ that seeing streams of water in action was a “once in a lifetime” experience. “I can go to Vegas any time,” he said.
More than 8 million people visited Lake Mead in 2020, The park has made it one of the busiest sites in the National Park Service.
Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States, supplies water to about 40 million people across seven states, tribal lands, and northern Mexico.
Chris Lawrence contributed to this report.
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