Popular swimming area abruptly closes for season today - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Popular swimming area abruptly closes for season today

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West Beach at Lake McDonough remains closed. (WFSB file photo) West Beach at Lake McDonough remains closed. (WFSB file photo)

A popular northwest Connecticut swimming area is closed for the season starting on Monday.

According to the Metropolitan District Commission, Lake McDonough in Barkhamsted has been closed to swimmers because of a lack of lifeguards.

However, the lake remains open for boating into September.

A sign was posted at the entrance to alert visitors.

"Are you tell me they're going to be closed for the rest of the summer?" asked Deborah Paris of New Milford. "Now, I'm sad now."

The MDC announced earlier this season that the western side of the beach would be closed this year due to a lack of qualified lifeguards

Monday, it closed all Lake McDonough beaches for the same reason.

This time, however, it said it was because many of the 10 lifeguards it employs were high school or college students who are preparing to head back to class. It simply didn't have enough staff.

Instead of letting people swim at their own risk, MDC management chose to ban swimming.

"I think they should do something about that, what is it going to be About 90," Paris said.

Each of the last three years, the MDC said it had to shut down swimming before Labor Day.

Some people living in nearby New Hartford said visitor may be unaware of the abrupt change.

"That's a long way to drive to get shut down," said Mark Crowley of New Hartford.

Anyone caught violating the swimming ban could be ticketed, according to the MDC.

Boat rentals and the boating area will remain open and operational though Labor Day weekend. The entire lake closes for the season on Sept. 6.

The MDC said in a statement that in regrets any inconvenience caused by the abrupt closure

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