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Bay Springs Lake beaches closed

(Susan Parker)
(Susan Parker)
Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 5/23/2013 6:55 pm
BAY SPRINGS LAKE, Miss. (WTVA) -- It's a sight not often seen.

The popular Old Bridge Beach is practically under water.

It's closed until further notice. Piney Grove Beach is closed as well.

"We'll continue to monitor Tennessee Valley Authority projections for Pickwick Lake since Bay Springs Park is directly associated with the lake levels there and open as soon as possible," Park Manager Jayson Adams said.

Excessive rain is to blame for the high levels.

Normally, the swimming depth is six feet at the most. Currently, the water is as deep as 10 feet.

That fact led to the difficult decision to close the beaches.

On a normal holiday weekend, as many as 700 people flock to the beaches at Bay Springs Lake.

"The parking lot will be full. The beach will be full. We'll be at capacity and have people waiting hours to get into the beach," Adams added.

Just down the road from the beach is Crow's Sport Center.

Rhonda Lambert was not aware the beaches were closed.

"Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend, and the Fourth of July brings people to the beach. Apparently, it's not going to this weekend."

"Business has already begun to pick up in preparation for this holiday weekend. The bad news is the closing of the beaches is going to impact business. As long as the boaters and the fishermen are still able to come to the water, it will help, but you know, the beach brings a lot of people-a lot of people over here," Lambert said.

People like Tracy Harbor and Shannon Evans have already arrived for the weekend. Swimming was definitely in the plan.

"He wanted to go swimming this morning. That was the one thing he asked to do and I told him he couldn't because
they reported on the news last night that the beaches at Bay Springs and here at Piney Grove are closed," Harbor said.

"Well, it's kind of hot and I guess that water would really cool you off, so I'm kind of disappointed," Evans said.

Park officials are monitoring the water levels. They hope to reopen the beaches sooner rather than later.
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