Independence Day falls on Friday, makes for bigger crowds - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Independence Day falls on Friday, makes for bigger crowds

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A Tourism economic study shows the occupancy rate averaged 90 percent among places to stay this time last year. (Source: Kristin Sanchez) A Tourism economic study shows the occupancy rate averaged 90 percent among places to stay this time last year. (Source: Kristin Sanchez)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It comes as no surprise that TripAdvisor has once again named Myrtle Beach a top summer destination.

It's that distinction, that helps to bring a large number of people to the Grand Strand for the holiday.

Picture this: You come out to the beach, coolers are everywhere, alcohol everywhere and alcohol isn't even allowed on the beach.

That's how lifeguards see this week playing out.

You can bet a number of the 41 million Americans expected to travel this holiday weekend will head to our shores.

But then there's getting here. U.S. 17 and Highway 501 are expect to have the heaviest traffic.

Charles Vasser vacationing from Virginia said, "we ran into a lot of traffic we were moving along about eight or nine miles an hour."

That's because 85 percent of those getting away are driving and just like Charles, they are hitting the beach.

"There is one of us per every 100 yards and there's about 100 people per every hundred yards so it's hard to keep an eye on everyone so, we're focus on the water and life safety first," explains Ian Anderson, Myrtle Beach Lifeguard.

Crowd control is always a big part of a lifeguard's job, but especially over a holiday weekend when alcohol plays a key role.

"It's somewhat frustrating. However, I'm somewhat used to it, four years of experience, four years of seeing it. It became less frustrating, more expected," says Jordan Howell, Myrtle Beach Lifeguard.

Past police reports also show this is a big week when it comes to making arrests.

If you were looking to celebrate this upcoming week somewhere quieter, even low key places like Surfside Beach ocean front condos are sold out.

A Tourism economic study shows the occupancy rate averaged 90 percent among places to stay this time last year.

Preliminary numbers for this weekend also expect another large crowd.

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