Myrtle Beach, SC - By Mark Meredith
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The holiday weekend is officially here and the Myrtle Beach Police Department says they are going to be stepping up the amount of officers they have on patrol.
Police say they are going to focus on trying to keep traffic congestion to a minimum.
"The police department is going to have extra staff on duty during the evening and nights to handle the more people," Sgt. John Bertang with the Myrtle Beach Police said.
Police say even though they will be keeping a close eye on the roadways, the only solution may be for people to leave early and exercise patience.
When the roads are packed, the Ocean Lakes Campground says they can see how much traffic there is from their location. They are expecting 30,000 people this weekend and are 99 percent sold out.
"We are at a really busy intersection on 554 and it does back up but our main gate really tries to keep that line moving," Rachel Streets said who works at the Ocean Lakes Campground.
The Myrtle Beach State Park says this weekend is usually the biggest weekend of the year for them. Park Rangers say after they reached maximum capacity last year, they hope crowds know to come early if they want to get in.
"One thing people can do is carpool, if you know neighbors who are coming out just get in the same car and that gives us an extra car space," Jerry Ives suggests, who works at the park.
Even though thousands are traveling into the Grand Strand to celebrate this holiday, a lot of people say they like to stay put once they reach their destination.
"We'll all get stocked up with our ice and just stay here for the day at the campground and just hang out at the beach" Tim Stuthers said who is visiting from Ohio.
The Stuthers say they will avoid the roads as much as possible, which is a small sacrifice to make with the beach only a few feet away.