Tybee Island officials preparing for immense crowds this weekend

Tybee Island, Ga. welcome sign.
Tybee Island, Ga. welcome sign.(WTOC)
Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 5:52 PM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - The City of Tybee Island is preparing for the massive rush of people expected to flock to the beach this weekend.

They are getting everything ready from police officers to parking lots.

Last year’s festivities were subdued, but this year people are ready to be out as the official start to the summer kicks off. City officials say this could be the biggest crowd they have ever seen.

“We’re seeing June and July numbers already in April and May,” Tybee Island City Manager Shawn Gillen said.

Gillen says the highest number of cars they have previously had on the island was more than 14,500. Gillen says he expects to reach that number this weekend. He says the city is prepared, though, with various traffic controls on Butler Avenue.

“Those will be in place on Saturday and Sunday this year. The whole idea is to get emergency vehicles up and down Butler, get emergency vehicles to those little pockets of the community on the south end and keep traffic flowing,” Gillen said.

Gillen said the Tybee Police Department will have a heavy presence on the island and all of the lifeguards will be on duty.

“There are not lifeguards at every inch of the island, they’re only in the more crowded areas. If there’s a yellow or red flag warning flying, pay attention to that and understand that the water is dangerous,” Gillen said.

Code enforcement will also be out looking for beach violations. These violations include walking out on the sandbar and bringing dogs on the beach, among many others.

“It looks like it’s fun to walk out to, but it’s deadly. Stay off it. It’s a fine of $300 to walk out onto that sandbar,” Gillen said.

It’s encouraged to get out to the beach early and to take advantage of the first parking spot you see. Gillen says the south end, near the pier, will fill up before 9 a.m.

“We are going to be shutting those lots down when they are full, so you’re not going to be able to get in them,” Gillen said.

Also, the city council voted to renew the no smoking ban for the areas between 14 and 16 streets. This is in effect now and will be for another year at least. City officials, again, are just reminding everyone to stay safe and be responsible.

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