TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – Memorial Day signals the start of a busy summer for Tybee Island. City officials say they have been preparing for months.
With the streets decked out in red, white and blue — and crowds already on the beach Friday morning — Tybee Island is ready for a busy weekend.
“We’ve been preparing all year for this season to begin. Number one: we’ve ramped up our code enforcement, we’re getting a full contingent of code enforcement to enforce beach rules, that frees up police time,” said Tybee Island City Manager Shawn Gillen.
Gillen says the pandemic postponed his ability to hire code enforcement officers last year. But this year, they are cracking down on litter and pets.
Twelve lifeguards will also be on duty.
“You’ll see the lifeguards in the lifeguard stands; you’ll see firefighters driving the ATV, covering the areas of the beach that aren’t covered,” explained Gillen.
That extra coverage is especially needed this weekend. Last year, 14,500 cars drove onto the island on the Saturday before Memorial Day.
“That’s about the physical limit of the number of cars you’re able to get on a two-lane highway onto a 4 square mile island. And that’s just based on the data we’ve seen,” said Gillen, who is expecting the same and maybe even more on Saturday.
“When you come into the island, when you come over the Lazaretto Creek Bridge driving into Tybee, find the first spot you see and take it,” suggested Gillen. “The odds that you’re going to get something on the south end are low.”
Gillen says the city will shut down lots if and when they get full. Officials are also shutting down certain roads and access points.
A map of closures can be found here.
Chatham County Police Department says marine patrol will be out in full force this weekend to make sure boaters are safe on the water.