People hoping to take a swim at the Mormon Island Recreation Area may have to wait awhile, after a possible outbreak of swimmers itch has closed the beach and swimming area indefinitely.
Nebraska Game and Parks officials say they'll continue testing the water and will reopen the swimming area when they've determined it's safe for use. People are still allowed to camp, fish and boat at the recreation area.
Nebraska Game and Parks officials say by this time each year, the beach at Mormon Island State Rec Area is typically packed.
"We're full every weekend. We have been since we opened up at the first part of May," Bob Randall says.
But with the beach and swimming area closed, he says that could deter visitors.
"I don't have any clue how long our beach is going to be down," Randall says. "Hopefully not long, because we do have a lot of people who like to go out here and go swimming. A lot of people off of the interstate. With the kids out of school, I mean, they like coming out here."
Central District Health officials say they received reports of the possible swimmers itch Monday. The condition is caused by parasites entering the skin.
"It can be very troublesome for those affected people," Environmental Health Specialist Grady Erickson says.
Erickson says the itching and swelling will go away eventually, even though there's no specific treatments for it. He says the itching and swelling can last 5-10 days.
So those people hoping to catch some rays on the beach or in the water at Mormon Island will have to wait out the parasite too.
"We've been out here with our grand kids and it's always been a ball," Hastings resident Alex Cermak says. "You could swim or you could fish, that was nice."
But that may not be possible for several weeks.
"Until it's safe, completely safe, for the populous to go out, it's better just to keep it shut down," Erickson says.
An outbreak last summer kept the swimming area closed three to four weeks.