Tourists battle heavy Labor Day traffic

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - All around the Grand Strand, bags are being packed and cars are being loaded up for the long drive home.

Last week's traffic made getting into Myrtle Beach hard enough for some, but it could be even worse on their way home.

"I tried to get here by [Highway] 17 but that is kind of terrible," said Charles Batson, a frequent visitor of the area.

Batson is making the five-hour trip back to Columbia, North Carolina. He says the trip here was so grueling he decided to find a new way home.

Instead of taking 17, he now plans to use several other less-busy highways. Still, he says the traffic will most likely add an hour or more on his drive.

"I sound like I know what I'm doing, but when you get on the roads it's a whole different world," laughed Batson.

Some of the roads he is trying to avoid are the same ones South Carolina Highway Patrol says will be incredibly busy today. Those roads include Highway 17, Highway 544, and Highway 501.

The problem is those are the main ways out of town.

"I don't know no other way, unless I'm Donald Trump, then I let someone else do it for me," Batson said.

Batson isn't the only driver that will struggle with the busy roads. According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation, tens of thousands of people drove out of Myrtle Beach last labor day.

"My husband will get very frustrated with traffic and he's driving so that's no fun for him," said Katie Strickland, also visiting from North Carolina.

While the traffic will be unbearable for some, others say they will take it for what it is and hope for the best.

"I'm a retired man so it makes it a little easier," said Batson. "I'm not in a real rush, but I hope get home and get there safely."

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