TOWNSHEND — Almost a year after Tropical Storm Irene, Townshend Lake remains closed to swimmers because silt that washed into the lake left it too shallow for swimming.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is hoping the swim area’s excessive sediment can be removed before next summer.
“The water quality is fine,” said Dale Berkness, Townshend Lake project manager for the Corps. “It’s been tested several times this summer.”
But the silt left behind by Irene reduced the swim area’s depth, leaving it unusable and unsafe.
“There are a lot of new islands out there,” Berkness said.
Townshend Selectwoman Hedy Harris said it would be a relief if the area could be dredged soon.
“It’s a very popular swimming place in the summer,” Harris said. “There are lots of out-of-town people. Certainly, people from Brattleboro use it.”
The Corps of Engineers’ Townshend Lake website says the lake’s swim area includes a long, sandy beach and is “shallow enough for children yet deep enough for those wanting to swim laps.”
“We’re trying to work with the state to try and get the swim area dredged,” said Berkness.
“It’s still open for fishing, for canoeing, for kayaking,” he said. “It’s just the swim area that’s closed.”
In the immediate aftermath of the Aug. 28 storm, more than 500 miles of roadways and dozens of bridges were damaged or destroyed and thousands of people were forced from their homes. State officials have estimated the total recovery cost at $733 million.
Last week, state engineers and scientists said that more than 300 river banks, bridges and other sites damaged by the storm still need repairs — some to fix repairs done the wrong way after the storm.MORE IN Vermont News
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- MEDIA GALLERY