UPDATE: Tempe Town Lake has reopenedPosted: Updated:
Tempe Town Lake reopened Thursday afternoon following a brief closure.
The lake was shut down Wednesday to all boating and water activities due to a large amount of debris coming from the upper Salt River.
Salt River Project had released water from the Granite Reef Dam flowing at between 10,000 and 20,000 cubic feet per second. That water picked up growth in the riverbed east of Town Lake, carried it through Tempe Town Lake and into the riverbed to the west of the lake.
Much of the debris has now cleared the lake. When the debris stopped entering the lake, City of Tempe Public Works crews and staff from Aquatic Consulting were able to remove it from the boating area of the lake. There may be smaller pockets of vegetation in the water, but it is once again safe to boat and to fish.
City officials say the dam is working as it should.
"Our dam is working as intended. We have great, dedicated staff at the City of Tempe and they pulled together to get Tempe Town Lake reopened as soon as safely possible. I'm proud of their efforts," Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said.
The Desert Sprints Regatta will take still place on Saturday.
The park areas surrounding the lake remained open and no land-based activities were affected by the lake's closure.
"The parks are safe and people are welcome to enjoy their regular land-based activities at Tempe Town Lake," reads a statement from the City of Tempe.
The lake closure came just one day after a boat with 18 special needs kids capsized at the lake.
According to firefighters, all 18 rowers and their coaches swam to shore safely.
Police said they were all wearing life jackets.
Members of the Mesa Bulldogs were training on a 50-foot-long boat for the upcoming Dragon Boat Races in March.
They were wrapping up their practice, and rowing back to the marina, when the boat flipped.
A coach blamed it on too many people leaning too heavily on one side of the boat.
[READ MORE: Tempe Town Lake dam proving itself in water release]
Debris collecting at Tempe Town Lake after SRP conducted water releases pic.twitter.com/hqXKmCOpzQ— Carissa Planalp (@CarissaNews) March 1, 2017
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