The area near the Lake Wanahoo dam spillway might close to the public permanently after an 11-year-old boy's drowning there this week.
John Miyoshi, director of the Lower Platte North Natural Resources District, said Thursday that NRD board members would decide at their July meeting. In the meantime, the dam near Wahoo was temporarily closed with signs and barricades while the investigation into Bayden Martinez's death continued.
Local law enforcement officers were keeping an eye out for anyone who tried to enter.
“Are we going to make some changes down there, or are we going to even keep it open to the public?” Miyoshi said. “If we fence or wire that area off, we'll need access to do inspections. We're going through that process over the next month to decide what to do.”
Bayden's body was recovered Wednesday near the spillway. One of the boy's legs apparently got caught in a 12-inch concrete drainpipe, and he was pulled into the water.
There had not been a sign or barricade posted at the site before Bayden's drowning.
An employee of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission spotted the body about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday. The spillway was shut down to retrieve the body.
The water is typically low in the summer, and it's been even lower because of recent dry weather, Miyoshi said.
At other times of the year, he said, the water typically cascades over the spillway like a waterfall, which would make it impossible for anyone to enter it.
“There's places you shouldn't be at any dam, and one place is inside the principal spillway unless you have the water shut off,” he said.
Miyoshi said onlookers had been in the area, but nobody had tried to get near the spillway.
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