CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – There weren’t many people out at Ramsey Creek Park Saturday afternoon.

While the manmade beach has been closed since Labor Day, the boating ramp access was closed too. Duke Energy officials announced Wednesday that the region is suffering a stage 1 drought, leading to the decision to close several boating ramps.

“It’s always you know, it’s a little lower in the wintertime, but really, we’ve never seen this low,” one homeowner said. “It’s kind of put a dent in our activity since we can’t get the birds out.”

Along with Ramsey Creek, Copperhead, Buster Boyd, and Allison Creek, access areas were also closed. Officials say the last time access areas were closed was in 2016 during another Stage 1 drought. George Brinzey with the Lake Norman Patrol Squad says launching a boat could cause severe injury.

“When you get close to six feet below full pond, the launch ramp shortens and there’s usually a ledge or drop off from where the launch ramp meets the lake bed,” Brinzey said. “And folks with trailers can fall off the ledge and in some cases get stuck and also damage the launch ramp.”

Officials say the recent stretch of dry weather caused the dip in lake levels across the region.

“As law enforcement, we’re having to really pay close attention. It’s a different lake out there right now. It’s not even remotely the same where you had navigable waters earlier in the summer. Now you don’t. And you just never know what lurks underneath the water. Honestly, a lot of rock, there’s just just a lot of hazards, which you don’t know is there.”