Throughout Texas, the coming of August signals the hottest days of the summer, and most people will be seeking relief from the summer heat. But it is the heat that is offering some help for businesses along Lake Texoma recover from heavy spring rains.

Throughout Texas, the coming of August signals the hottest days of the summer, and most people will be seeking relief from the summer heat. But it is the heat that is offering some help for businesses along Lake Texoma recover from heavy spring rains.


"For us, things are improving daily," Jason Cottingame, general manager of Grandypappy Point Marina said.


At 4 p.m. Thursday, the elevation of Lake Texoma was 632.38 feet and falling due to outflow through the floodgates, and evaporation. By comparison, the lake level stood at 632.95 feet at 4 p.m. Wednesday. This comes during a season where intense rain and flooding caused the waters of Lake Texoma to rise to a new record level and flow over the spillway twice within a year.


During a normal season, traffic at Lake Texoma tends to drop in late summer, however, Denison Chamber of Commerce President Anna McKinney said she is starting to get more calls regarding lake activities.


"The interest in Lake Texoma has finally come back," McKinney said. Last week, McKinney started receiving more and more calls from individuals looking for information on boat ramps and other access points at the lake. McKinney said she received a call from a group looking to hold a family reunion of 80 to 90 people at the lake recently.


While many marinas and boat ramps are still suffering from the damage and reduced capacity, she is optimistic that this will translate to a strong Labor Day for area businesses. Although this may not offset the damage of two lost holiday weekend — the Fourth of July and Memorial Day — McKinney said she believes businesses can use this momentum to start fresh next season.


For workers at Grandpappy Point, the last few weeks have been spent completing what repairs they can, given the remaining water in the area. Their docks and walkways that were damaged during the flooding have been repaired.


"With a place like this, you fix things every day," Cottingame joked.


As the water have receded, the marina was able to restore power to some facilities including its restaurant, which is expected to resume service on the second floor in August. The first floor, which was flooded during the storms in May and June, is completely bare with walls stripped down to their studs.


"We have to replace everything from where it went under and down." he said. "Basically, it is a skeleton of a building."


While the season has been hard for the marina, Cottingame said he is thankful that he has not had to layoff any employees due to the storms. "We are going to do our best to salvage this season," he said.


By comparison to other marinas along the lake, Cedar Bayou, located in Gordonville, received relatively minor damage from the storms.


"We have been blessed," Marina Manager Trey Albright said. "Through hard work and a little bit of luck all of our boathouses were strong and intact. All of our boats were safe and secure."


Due to the design of the marina, boat docks and other structures were able to rise along poles as the water levels rose. Albright said other marinas, which are located along rocky coves, are unable to implement this design.


The problem that plagued Cedar Cove, however, was the loss of power in the storms. It wasn’t until Wednesday that power was restored fully. While some boat owners made do with generators, the lack of electricity kept the marina from selling gasoline.


The announcement of power being restored to the marina was made via the marina’s Facebook page mere minutes after crews with the electric company left. Since May, the marina has made near daily posts on the current situation of the lake and marina operations. Albright said this has been the main line of communication between the marina and its customers since the heavy rains started.


The recovery has been steady for some businesses, other lakeside attractions are still waiting for some relief. At Eisenhower State Park in Denison, the boat ramps and beach, which are the largest draws for the park, are still inaccessible due to high water. The campgrounds remain open, but officials said attendance is still low.


"Which is not uncommon for July, given the heat," Donna Peterman, office manager for the state park, said. While the Fourth of July weekend is typically one of the busier holidays for the park, Peterman said the campgrounds were virtually empty this year.


This is the second major flood at the lake that Peterman has seen during her time with the park. She was there for flooding in 2007. However, the floods of 2007 receded quickly, unlike this year.


"This is really a new event for us," she said.