Wave of South Carolina beachgoers catches officials by surprise

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Monday, May 18, 2020

City officials at one of South Carolina’s most popular beaches knew visitors would return when they reopened during the coronavirus pandemic.

They just didn’t think so many would come back at one time. Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll said Saturday was the busiest day he has ever seen on his island southeast of Charleston in his more than 60 years living there.

Traffic backed up all the way to the mainland.

Police wrote 216 parking tickets as cars double and triple parked on many island streets with some violators telling officers the $50 ticket wasn’t a bad price for some sun and sand for a carload of people.

The City Council is considering raising the fine.

Police Chief Kevin Cornett said the Isle of Palms could see even more people this coming weekend.

“It’s really important that people plan and, if you can do something other than come to the beach, we don’t need everybody coming to the beach on Memorial Day weekend,” he said.

Officials say most of the people on the beach this past weekend were practicing social distancing, but the same could not be said for their vehicles. Some areas reportedly had cars double or even triple parked.

From reports by WCSC and The Associated Press