A World War II-era watercraft surfaced in Lake Mead as it hits record-low water levels amid the worsening “megadrought” in the Southwestern U.S., CNN reports.
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The Lake Mead National Recreation Area National Park Service (NPS) is discovering human remains and boat wrecks such as the WW II watercraft vehicle, also known as a Higgins Boat or a landing craft.
Scientists are measuring new record-low water levels on a daily basis at Lake Mead since it began filling up in 1937 after the creation of the Hoover Dam.
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“The lake has drained dramatically over the last 15 years,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Homicide Lieutenant Ray Spencer said, noting “it’s likely that we will find additional bodies that have been dumped in Lake Mead” as the water level drops more.”
The Colorado River and its two largest reservoirs — Lake Mead and Lake Power – supply water to about 40 million people in the West. At Lake Powell, federal officials announced unprecedented emergency steps last week to keep more water in that reservoir — and preserve the Glen Canyon Dam’s ability to generate hydropower — rather than sending it downstream to Lake Mead.
Last week, NPS rangers recovered a body on Lake Mead near the location where an adult female went missing. The Clark County Medical Examiner in Nevada is still trying to determine the identity of the body and cause of death, according to NPS.
It is unclear whether the discovery of the body last week is related to the megadrought.
NPS rangers asked the public to help identify and locate the missing Boulder City woman, known only as “Lily.” Rangers said she was last seen in the Boulder Harbor area of Lake Mead before falling off a jet ski on the morning of June 30.
Lily is 22 years old, has long brown hair dyed red, is approximately 5’2” tall and weighs 110-120 pounds, NPS rangers said. She was last seen wearing black yoga-type pants and a white shirt. Lily has a tattoo of a “Captain’s wheel” on her left forearm.