LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — This Labor Day, people didn’t have to fight traffic to get to Lake Mead. Those who were at the lake on Monday said the low water levels may have kept the crowds away.
Caresse Roubicek, a Las Vegas resident, went to Lake Mead to celebrate Labor Day and said she was surprised to see that the spot she selected two weeks ago was about 20 feet further away from the water.
“The water levels were actually a lot higher than what they are now,” Roubicek said. “I’m looking at it and I’m like this was definitely under the water.”
The Bureau of Reclamation announced their first-ever water shortage in Lake Mead. The lake has been draining at an alarming rate. As of Monday, it’s around 1,067 feet above sea level and 35% full.
Visitors said as the water goes down the terrain to camp out on is getting worse. Danielle Calderon said it is rare to see the lake this empty, especially on Labor Day.
“Normally it is packed,” Calderon said. “There are more people because she has brought my son in years past and it is just screaming with people, everyone out here doing barbecues and stuff.”
The shifting shorelines require a lot of work. The marinas are changed regularly, and the giant concrete anchors are moved. Many who brought out their boats for Labor Day said it is hard to keep up with the changes. Especially when there are few spots to unload their boats.
Robert Fitzgerald said it is concerning because so many people depend on this lake.
“That bridge over there, it used to have water up to it, you could walk up to it and be on the bridge and the water was right there,” Fitzgerald said. “Now it is all the to the bottom, it is kind of scary.”
A study by the Bureau of Reclamation predicts Lake Mead's elevation to be at 1,065 feet by January of 2022. Lake mead officials have urged everyone to take extra precautions.
Park rangers said if you plan on coming out to the lake be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and a life jacket to make sure you and your family are safe during these very hot temperatures.