Due to extremely low water levels, the swimming areas at Lake Norman and Lake James state parks will close beginning Friday, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. Also, the Hidden Cove boating access area at Lake James has been closed.
Water depth in the designated swimming areas is up to three feet below normal, resulting in unsafe conditions.
“Swimming had been concentrated into much smaller areas, which increased turbidity and made it impossible to see swimmers under the surface. And, access into the water is more difficult,” said West District Superintendent Tom Jackson.
Swimming in the state parks is not allowed outside the designated swimming areas, and those areas cannot be expanded due to the danger of drop-offs, underwater hazards and proximity to boat traffic, he added.
The popular swim beaches at Lake Norman and Lake James state parks are the only public swimming areas on the seven Catawba River basin lakes.