State Parks will be open this Labor Day weekend, but swimming may be banned at many locations.
Here’s the latest press briefing from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection as of late Wednesday afternoon:
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today announced that all state swimming areas remain closed until further notice due to poor water quality or unsafe swimming conditions caused by Hurricane Irene. State parks and campgrounds will continue to reopen on a case-by-case basis after safety inspections, cleanups are completed, and power restored but residents and visitors need to stay out of the water until further notice.
“It is still not safe to go swimming in any state park swimming area and everyone needs to be aware of the hazardous conditions present and stay out of the water,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty. “In addition, people should avoid swimming or boating in the state’s rivers and streams because water quality is poor, and high water levels, along with storm debris have created dangerous conditions.”
State campgrounds that have reopened as of August 31, 2011 are:
- Austin Hawes Campground (American Legion State Forest) – Barkhamsted
- Housatonic Meadows State Park Campground – Cornwall, Sharon
- Macedonia Brook State Park Campground – Kent
- Black Rock State Park Campground (not swim area) – Thomaston
- Lake Waramaug State Park Campground (not swim area) – Kent
In addition to the above campgrounds, 35 state parks have also been able to reopen including, Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison (park only; not swim area or campground), Fort Trumbull State Park in New London (fishing pier is closed), Farm River State Park in East Haven and Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union.
A complete, up-to-date status of state parks, campgrounds and beaches is available at the official state website for the status of Hurricane recovery efforts (www.ct.gov/irene) under the following link: Hurricane Irene: Parks, Beaches & Campground Status Report or the DEEP home page (www.ct.gov/deep) under the following link: View current status of parks and forests, beaches and campgrounds. The current status of state parks can also be obtained via Twitter: @CTDEPoutdoorrec
Campers will continue to be able to receive full refunds for the nights they are not able to use their reservations. Campers can find information on how to obtain a refund by visiting the DEEP Camping website (http://www.ct.gov/dep/camping) and selecting Camping Reservations or by going directly to the ReserveAmerica website (http://www.reserveamerica.com). Campers may also call ReserveAmerica’s toll free number at 1-877-668-CAMP (2267).