U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closes several beaches at Beaver Lake for Memorial Day Weekend
USACE still expecting large crowds
EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. (KY3) - The U.S. Corps of Engineers closed several swim beaches at Beaver Lake ahead of the Memorial Day weekend due to water levels, debris, and high E. coli levels.
Officials say they closed the beaches as a safety decision due to significant rainfall in recent days. It shouldn’t affect boaters/swimmers along the main channel.
Here is a list of open and closed swim beaches along Beaver Lake.
- Horseshoe Bend Campground
- Indian Creek
- Lost Bridge North
- Prairie Creek
- Rocky Branch Day Use Area
Dam Site Lake Campground
Dam Site Lake Day Use Area
Rocky Branch Campground
Horseshoe Bend Day Use
Lost Bridge South
“We are completely booked with are rentals, so completely book, it’s going to be a busy weekend definitely. Thankful we are finally getting some sunshine.,” said Jessi Griffin, manager of Starkey Marina. “After all, this is the kickoff to the summer season, and it looks like the weather will cooperate.”
Beaver Lake will be busy, but other obstacles may be present besides boaters.
“The Beaver Lake pool is high. We’re at 1,128.7. Top of the flood pool is 1,130,” said Jay Townsend, USACE Little Rock Chief of Public Affairs. “So as you head out there for the weekend, just be aware the lake is high. It has been raining. So debris has washed down into the pool. Then you’ll have several beaches closed because of that high water level and some other testing problems that we’ve had.”
Those testing problems high levels of E. coli in concentrated beach areas. Those who use the lake most say it is not a big concern if you stay away from the closed areas.
“I know that there are some concerns about E. coli and the beaches the corps has shut down,” said Griffin. “That is really isolated to those beaches, so you’re not going to have any problems in the main channel of water.”
Beyond that, conditions are as expected following heavy rain.
“Water levels are high. There is potentially some debris out there. We’re not seeing a lot of that right now,” Griffin said Friday morning.
“I just ask everyone to be courteous,” said Townsend. “It’s going to be busy, boat ramps busy, parking lots busy, campgrounds busy. No drinking and boating, it’s going to be busy, it’s going to be choppy, there’s going to be debris. Accidents could happen.”
These swim areas will reopen after USACE receives testing that shows the water is safe and water levels have receded enough to clean debris from the beach areas.
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