Due to high rainfall in recent months, the Army Corps of Engineers has had to hold more water in the Monroe Lake reservoir to prevent flooding communities further down the White River.
As a result, reservoir specialist Phil Wilson says they’ve had to close the Fairfax and Paynetown beaches because they’re largely underwater.
They’ll open the beaches back up once the Corps is able to safely release the extra water in the reservoir at about a rate of 4 to 5 inches a day.
“And we’re going to have to go down probably another vertical foot and a half, at least, to have any semblance of a beach,” Wilson says.
However, the boating ramps are still open, and people may still swim from their boats. Wilson cautions that the high water levels could conceal dangerous debris and unexpected drop-offs.
“We warn people to be cautious about children playing at the water’s edge, where it just looks like the water’s edge,” Wilson says. “Don’t assume that once you step into the water it’s just going to be a gradual drop-off – there could be drop-offs that are hidden.”
Even with the beaches officially closed, there are a number of programmed activities still going on near the lake. Boat rentals will also be open through the weekend.