Seawall damage forces closure of main beach in West Hawk Lake, Man.

High water levels and strong winds cause the seawall at the West Hawk beach to become unstable and lean towards the lake. Marney Blunt / Global News

The province has closed off the main beach in West Hawk Lake following flood damage to the seawall behind the beach.

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

Read more: Manitoba’s Whiteshell region to remain under state of emergency as flood watch continues

For business owners in the area it’s another concern after two difficult years.

“It’s huge and it’s huge to everybody, day users, it’s huge to cottage owners that are on the back lots that use the main beach to come here, it’s huge to the campground. It’s hard on us,” Crescent Beach Cottages owner Shaun Harbottle told Global News.

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

Read more: Whiteshell residents voice frustrations over lifted evacuation order

Harbottle says having no timeline for when the beach will reopen is concerning heading into the summer, and he’s concerned he could see cancellations at his resort as a result.

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

“This is just putting a fence around things, doesn’t really help mitigate the problem.”

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