Popular N.C. park impacted by dry conditions

by: John Ahrens Updated:

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GASTONIA, N.C. - Crowders Mountain, a popular North Carolina park, is in danger of losing a big attraction.

The lake at Crowders Mountain has lost 30 percent of its water over the past few months because of drought conditions.

Around 50,000 people come to the park in October, but the number is down to 20,000 because of the lack of water.

Superintendent Larry Hyde took Eyewitness News on a tour of what was a 9-acre lake. It is now 6 acres and dropping. Hyde said he’s had to make tough decisions because of the drought.

“We've shut off our canoe rental and the reason behind that is the access isn't safe,” Hyde said.

The exposed plants and brown beaches have been noticed by visitors.

"The creeks aren't really creeks anymore. They are more or less swamp," said visitor Michael Phillips.

The streams that feed the lake are all but gone.

“A rain of about an inch or two is not going to do anything to this,” Hyde said. “You’re going to need a tropical storm or consistent rain this winter to make an impact.”

Grass is starting to grow near the lake, and the lake bed may become a meadow, threatening fish life.

Charlotte has been classified as “abnormally dry” by the National Weather Service. Upstate South Carolina is dealing with a moderate drought.