RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - On the heels of Memorial Day Weekend, dangerous levels of E-coli shut down a popular swimming area on Lake Dardanelle.
We're talking about the Piney Bay Swim Beach near London. We caught up with a family there Thursday evening whose children were swimming in the water just before six when a park ranger came and told them to get out.
It's a peaceful evening at the Piney Bay Swim Beach on Lake Dardanelle. The beauty here drew folks, like Shay Hild and her kids of Conway, for a visit on Thursday.
"We brought the kids out to go swimming, just to relax and enjoy the day," Hild said.
But she's not feeling too relaxed anymore after learning of a danger lurking in the water.
"The park ranger came down and basically told us that the bacterial count was high and that we needed to get out of the water," Hild said. "I'm just praying to God, they don't get sick."
The Army Corps of Engineers closed the swimming beach Thursday after routine testing turned up "higher than acceptable" levels of E-coli. There's no word yet on the cause but officials say the recent warm weather and lack of rain could be to blame.
"You got any open cuts, you have to be careful of that too," Hild shouts to her son.
Hild is now keeping a close watch on her son and daughter, knowing first-hand of the effects.
"I've swam in a lake before that ended up having a high bacteria count and ended up with different infections which is not fun at all," Held said.
The family was planning to come back here for Memorial Day but not anymore.
"I'm still a little nervous right now, for the kids," Hild said.
The Corps says the swimming area will remain closed until further notice. Held says the park ranger told her Thursday evening that it didn't seem like it would re-open by Memorial Day; the ranger told her it could even be a couple of weeks. The Corps also says testing will continues on a daily basis.
State health officials have told Today's THV in the past to watch out shallow, slow-moving waters with a hot sun beating down. They also said avoid any body of water near wildlife or cattle and always watch your kids' water intake.