As a result of the heavy rains from Tropical Storm Irene, the Plattsburgh City Beach closed early for the season last week. Its original closing date was slated for Labor Day, Sept. 5.
Lake Champlain rose two feet in less than 24 hours Aug. 29, depositing seaweed and debris on the beach, said superintendent for recreation Steve Peters. In addition, with confirmatory water test results unavailable until after Sept. 5, combined with last weekend’s questionable forecast, city officials decided to close the beach for the season.
“We had an outstanding summer at the City Beach this year and we are really disappointed that we couldn’t finish out the last few days,” said Peters. “Crews from both Public Works and the Recreation department worked feverishly this spring to clear debris from the lake flooding. Their efforts allowed us to be the only beach open in the area for a while. Combined with unseasonably warm temperatures for most of the summer, our numbers increased significantly which demonstrates that our beach has the potential to be the premier beach on the entire lake.”
While the City Beach opened eight days later than scheduled due to the spring flooding and closed seven days early due to Irene, 2011 City Beach usage had increased significantly over last year. Total number of visitors exceeded 31,200 compared with 19,355 in 2010 and 14,829 in 2009. Fifty-two percent of City Beach visitors in 2011 were City of Plattsburgh and Town of Plattsburgh residents, while more than 40 percent were Canadians. Revenue exceeded $31,000 compared to $22,790 in 2010 and $21,994 in 2009.