Beach is back at George Wyth - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Beach is back at George Wyth


After the floods of 2008 state officials said it would take years to rebuild. That's exactly the case at George Wyth State Park in Waterloo. During the floods the entire park was covered in flood water, every building had at least six feet or more of water in it, and the beach was destroyed.

As Park Manager Lori Eberhard is getting George Wyth ready for winter, summer isn't far from her mind. It will be the first time since the floods of 2008 that this beach will once again be open to the public.

"It's been a long haul and it's been three and half years since the floods of 2008 and there's many more people in the community that know what it's like and have gone through more than we have here at the park. We've been able to open up the park and be back and be usable for the most part except for the beach," said Eberhard.

Matt Construction out of Sumner won the bid to rebuild the beach at just under $100,000. Crews have already spread around two million pounds of fresh sand along George Wyth Lake.

"For some people it's still too expensive to go to the pools or go to the water parks on a daily basis. With the economy and everything they just can't and this was a place to go and at least dip their feet in the water or take a little swim without costing them any money," said Eberhard.

A restroom and changing facility was built and the concession stand still needs a lot of work. It might not be ready until the summer of 2013. The renovations to the beach should be completed by the beginning of December

There are some concerns about more flooding in the spring, but park officials say it's something they hope they can avoid.

"It wouldn't hurt my feelings if we go dry for a couple years, not completely dry, but normal would be a good thing. It was nice this summer to not have a natural disaster to deal with," said Eberhard.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA is paying for 90 percent of the project. The State of Iowa will be covering the rest.

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