Westhampton Beach residents were surprised to find Rogers Beach closed for the remaining weekdays this season despite being scheduled to remain open daily through Labor Day on Monday, September 7.
Beach-goers got the bad news in the form of a paper sign tacked up at Rogers (105 Dune Road in Westhampton Beach) on the morning of Friday, August 28. In magic marker, the sign reads,”Thanks for a great year” and lists the remaining weekend days the beach would be open, including this past Saturday and Sunday, August 29–30, the coming Saturday, Sunday and Monday, September 5–7, as and Saturdy, September 12.
One upset resident shared a picture of the sign with Dan’s Papers and complained, “No prior warning of this closure was given!” while also pointing out this is “one of the hottest and busiest weeks of the summer.”
With temperatures spiking to 90 degrees this week, it’s no wonder bathers would be frustrated to find bathrooms closed and no lifeguards on duty, especially when they pay $475 for the privilege.
But a representative from Westhampton Beach’s Public Works department explains there was, unfortunately, little to be done.
“The staff has all gone back to school,” the rep said, explaining that lifeguards and others running the beach facilities are almost entirely students and teachers who have had to return to their regular, offseason jobs—teaching or learning. “We don’t have anyone to hold it open,” the Public Works representative said, lamenting the very late Labor Day and and early start of school. The two factors combined appear to have made it impossible to staff all of Westhampton Beach’s facilities.
“Nobody looked down the road,” Public Works explained, acknowledging that beaches were scheduled to remain open seven days per weeks through September 7. And it’s not just the beaches, he said, local pools have also come up short of lifeguards.
On the upside, this perfect storm of poor scheduling won’t happen again for years.