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High bacteria in Lake Michigan closes Shorewood beach, has officials urging caution in Milwaukee

Posted at 9:18 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 23:09:44-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County officials are urging caution before you head to Lake Michigan to cool off because of the bacteria levels in the water. Atwater Beach here in Shorewood is currently closed due to high bacteria. Earlier Friday, that was also the case at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee. But officials recently changed the status to open, but under caution.

When TMJ4 News went out at Bradford Beach while it was still shut down to swimming, dozens of people were out in the water. Some people said they had no idea the beach was closed to swimming because there was only one small sign in the middle of beach.

“Was I not suppose to go in?” asked Dave Kinsman, who didn’t know there was a closure.

“I came down here because the kids definitely wanted to swim because of the weather. I didn’t see the sign posted at all,” said Ronald Rasheed who brought two of his family members to swim.

Milwaukee County officials say the closure happened after they tested Lake Michigan and found high bacteria. They say it’s from the recent heavy rains.

After testing again Friday afternoon, officials changed Bradford Beach’s status from closed to open under caution.

But in Shorewood, Atwater Park Beach is still closed Friday evening. That didn’t stop some people from swimming or wanting to jump in.

“She ain’t let us,” said Cailey Scott, 11, who wanted to swim.

But the Scott family said they changed their minds about taking dip when they saw the sign posted right when you entered Atwater.

“Honestly because it’s kind of dirty and I wasn’t feeling it today,” said Tiairra Scott about why she wouldn’t let her cousins swim even when others were ignoring the closed sign.

Officials say there are high levels of E. Coli bacteria in Lake Michigan right now. If you swim use caution, shower immediately afterwards, wash your hands before eating, and do not ingest the water.

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