George Wyth beach to remain closed again this summer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

George Wyth beach to remain closed again this summer

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BLACK HAWK COUNTY (KWWL) -

Next month will mark the three year anniversary of when historic flood waters started to inundate the Cedar Valley.  Since the floods of 2008, one favorite summer spot at George Wyth State park has remained closed:  the beach.  So when can you expect to swim and suntan there once again?

On a sunny day, you'll likely find a few fisherman canoeing through the waters at George Wyth State Park.  But when the heat rises, you won't find anyone soaking up the sun or taking a dip at the park's beach.  The floods of 2008 destroyed the sandy shores, and a FEMA backlog has made the process of restoring the beach much longer than expected.

"Once FEMA gets their approval to us, things should go pretty quick.  So that's kind of what we're waiting on.  It's not that we don't want the beach back, we do.  But it's just taking us time because there's just a lot of people involved in state government, and a lot of people involved once you get to the FEMA federal level.  And it's just getting everybody on the same page and getting all the paperwork signed and everybody approved," said Lori Eberhard, George Wyth Park manager.

And the good news is, the final design work for the beach restoration was just sent to FEMA this week.  One notable sign of progress already is the new restroom facility built at an elevated height.  Once FEMA approves the rest of the beach restoration project, crews will work to raise the dike two feet, restore electricity in the area and bring in some new sand.

"We're hoping that they'll start doing and getting the work done this summer," Eberhard said.

But that means the beach will have to remain closed again this year. In the mean time, park officials are asking the public to practice a little patience because once the long-awaited restoration is complete, the beach should be better than ever. 

FEMA funding will pay for most of the beach restoration project at George Wyth.  State money and community donations will pick up the rest.

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