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Town beaches closed in Madison as debris cleanup continues

By Eliza Kruczynski, Olivia Schueller

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    MADISON, Connecticut (WFSB) — Cleanup is underway at beaches by the shoreline.

Flood waters upstream took out many docks and trees along with it. They have landed on some popular beaches.

Town beaches are closed Friday in Madison.

Crews have been working all day to clean up debris.

Department of public works, buildings and grounds crews have been cleaning up since early Friday morning.

Crews made multiple runs to the dump with trucks full of trees, tree trunks, and branches.

Some people even picked up trash that’s washed ashore.

To keep people safe, there is no swimming or boat launching at the Surf Club, West Wharf and East Wharf.

Beach goers had to make other plans but said it is nice the town is making the effort to clear the debris.

“It’s still nice, watching them clean it up and get everything back to normal,” said Hal Stephens of Madison.

“It’s alarming, it’s sad. This is supposed to be the best time of the year in Madison. We pride ourselves on how clean and pristine our beaches are, and then out of the blue to look out yesterday morning, at 9 a.m. have it be perfect and then quarter of 11 trees washing up ashore,” said Austin Hall, Director of Beach and Recreation for Madison.

Madison Harbor Master Steve Adkins said he isn’t worried about the wood in the Long Island Sound but boaters should still keep an eye out.

“Do you advise boaters to take more caution this weekend?” Eyewitness News asked.

“Without question and don’t go out at night, go out in the daytime, enjoy it and keep your eyes open,” Adkins said. “It’s wood, we all can agree it’s wood. The refrigerators don’t float, they’re at the bottom. The wood is floating and it’s on the surface so you can see it. To me it’s much ado about nothing.”

But the Connecticut River is a different story.

“Coast Guard issued a report yesterday saying keep off the river, keep away from the river. That’s smart,” said Adkins. “You go to the mouth of the Connecticut River right now, there’s this brown sludge coming out of the river.”

State beaches have red flags out as well.

“DEEP is aware that there is significant debris that has washed up on the beach. Parks staff are assessing the situation and developing clean-up plans. In the meantime, we would encourage the public to use extreme caution when recreating along the shoreline.”

James Fowler, DEEP At Surf Club Beach, they’ll evaluate how much washed ashore in coming days and will reassess when the beach will reopen to the public.

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