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High water, social distancing to hinder some plans for Memorial Day weekend

As you head out to the lake or go camping for Memorial Day weekend, things will look a bit different.

ARKANSAS, USA — As you head out to the lake or go camping for Memorial Day weekend, things will look a bit different.

The Army Corps of Engineers warns Arkansas Rivers and lake levels are high due to all the rain we've received lately.

Boaters should use extreme caution since parts of our area are under a small craft advisory. Another warning coming down just before the Memorial Day weekend is that Beaver Lake has closed. Two of its swimming areas have high levels of E-Coli in the water.

Social distancing rules are still in place while out at parks and recreational areas. Some parks have closed off trails to keep people six feet apart. 

"With high water, you also have debris that's washed in from the river arms, and also with high water, there's things that normally you'd be able to see that will be submerged so you have to look out for those,"  Landon Thurman, Beaver Lake Chief Park Ranger said. 

Some parks across the area have also closed down their larger campground to help with social distancing. You may want to call or check social media sites before heading out.

Devil's Den park rangers have already had to close a few trails due to overcrowding. 

"We have a trail counter as people walk by and we had over 1700 people on one trail on a Saturday afternoon, and that's too much for social distancing on that particular trail," Monte Fuller, Devil's Den Superintendent said. 

This weekend, Devil's Den will only allow as many people as their parking lot holds. 

"Once the parking lot is full, the park is full, and we'll be stopping cars telling them the park is full and they'll need to come back a different time," Fuller said. 

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