Damage to the seawall forces the closure of the main beach at West Hawk Lake, Manitoba. -Winnipeg

The province has closed the main beach at West Hawk Lake following flood damage to the levee behind the beach.

On May 20, high water levels and strong winds made the levee unstable and tilted towards the lake. Manitoba Parks closed the area due to safety concerns and fenced off the beach once water levels dropped.

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For business owners in the region, this is another concern after two difficult years.

“It’s huge and it’s huge for everyone, day users, it’s huge for cottagers who are on the back lots who use the main beach to come here, it’s huge for the camp site. It’s tough on us,” Shaun Harbottle, owner of Crescent Beach Cottages, told Global News.

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“A lot of us ordered all our stock for the weekend, so if we had had a week’s notice we could have planned this and downgraded our stock, and (solved) our staffing issues, now we don’t need the staff because it’s not going to be that busy.

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Harbottle says not having a timeline for the beach to reopen is concerning before the summer, and he’s worried he’ll see cancellations at his resort as a result.

“It’s super hard. We’ve gone from COVID to flooding to this,” he said, adding that he hopes to see the province take steps for a temporary fix or mitigation so the beach doesn’t stay closed all summer.

“It’s just putting a fence around things, it doesn’t really help alleviate the problem.”

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