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High E. Coli Levels Close Popular Mpls. Beaches

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Park leaders in Minneapolis say swimmers should avoid some popular beaches for the time being.

On Tuesday, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board closed the Lake Hiawatha Beach and Lake Calhoun’s Thomas and 32nd Street beaches.

The board says those beaches exceeded state levels for E. coli bacteria.

The city’s park board regularly tests the levels of bacteria in beaches.

“I’ve had E. coli poisoning before, it’s nasty,” said Miranda Labrosse, who wanted to swim with her son, Isaiah, in Lake Calhoun on Tuesday.

Rachel Bernardini and Nicholas Schaffer were visiting from Boston, and were hoping to check out a Minnesota lake.

“I guess I don’t think about [E. coli] with the lakes,” Schaffer said, “because it’s fresh water, and you don’t feel gritty when you get out.”

So far, no one has reported being sick.

It’s not unheard of for the board to close beaches ahead of an outbreak as a precaution.

Still, some are taking their chances.

“I’ve seen it before,” said one man. “I’m going in.”

The 32nd Street Beach on Lake Calhoun will be re-sampled on Wednesday.

Thomas Beach and the Lake Hiawatha Beach will be re-sampled on Monday. They’ll reopen when the bacteria levels are safe.

The North beach of Calhoun is still open.

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