Visitors Turned Away at Packed Lake Macbride Sunday
[UPDATE: KCRG says crews have located the body of the drowning victim they were searching for as of Monday, June 8 at 12:10 p.m.]
[UPDATE: KCRG reports that Johnson County authorities were called to Macbride about 5:30 p.m. Sunday night to begin a search for a drowning victim. The search was called off around 9:15 p.m., will continue Monday morning, is now being treated as a recovery and no further details are being made available at this time.]
People are clearly ready to come out of their cooped-up state of quarantine and enjoy some fun, as evidenced by this story. While many pools and other recreational hotspots are closed and staying that way due to COVID-19, one place is not only open but according to KCRG, Lake Macbride State Park was turning people away on Sunday.
The Iowa DNR said, with only 2 full-time security officers on-site and social distancing as one of the new guidelines those officers have to enforce, it officially became too much to handle and they had to temporarily close the entrance and not allow anyone else to come in, according to KCRG.
Tom Basten, the Southeast District Supervisor for State Parks said Lake Macbride told KCRG this year is already busier at Macbride than normal. People are doing their part toward social distancing for the most part and they can always bring in more help to handle the crowds, but unfortunately, that takes away from other parks and their needs.
The other reason they had to temporarily turn people away was to allow enough room in the event of ambulances or police and fire needing to enter to handle issues, of which Basten didn't say was required yesterday. There was also a possible concern about people parking in "illegal" parking areas.
A friend of mine actually tried to go into Macbride yesterday and said this: "we went around 1, and at that time DNR was stopping people at the entrance, so traffic was backed up about a mile. If people were there for the spillway or beach they were turned around because there was no parking. When we got up to the front of the line, we told them that we needed to drive down to the beach area to buy firewood from the boat rental place because we were camping. So they let us drive down there. I had to stand in line for about 30 minutes because everybody was renting kayaks. But while my family was waiting they found a parking space because someone left, so after we got our firewood we walked to the spillway."
The lesson, according to Basten and officials is that if you come, come early.