Business owners and visitors frustrated by the weather conditions on Tybee Island

Published: May. 27, 2023 at 11:03 PM EDT|Updated: May. 27, 2023 at 11:23 PM EDT
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TYBEE, Ga. (WTOC) - According to City of Tybee Island officials, around 150,000 people visited the island over last year’s Memorial Day Weekend.

They prepped this week for similar crowds increasing police presence and putting traffic control measures in place- but, the weather pushed crowds inside.

The rain has definitely dampened the mood on Tybee Island, with business owners and visitors alike frustrated by the weather conditions.

Stingrays Seafood, like many other restaurants on the island, has outdoor seating, that manager Duane Watts says would usually be completely full on Memorial Day weekend.

The outdoor area was completely empty.

“You’ll have a crowd of 50 people or more, standing out there waiting to get in. And now you won’t have any. And people are angry because it’s wet and they’re having to walk in the rain to get here. You gotta deal with bad attitudes,” Watts said.

The frustration of visitors on the island was evident in the people I spoke to.

Kids, who wanted to enjoy the first weekend of summer and go to the beach, instead-

”Sitting inside. Going to restaurants, cold. Not being able to enjoy it very much,” Woodie Bowen said.

Adults, doing the same.

“Well, it was a last minute kind of trip, and we’ve pretty much been set up in the hotel the entire time today,” Lori Ganbrell said.

Some of the visitors I spoke to even found themselves buying sweatshirts and sweatpants from souvenir shops- the bathing suits they packed, not cutting it in the rain and cold.

And almost everyone from kids to seniors- asking the same question:

”He keeps asking, ‘When’s the sun coming out, when’s the sun coming out?’ I’m like, I don’t know buddy,” Ganbrell said.

Be sure to stick with WTOC throughout the weekend, as our First Alert Weather team will have the latest about the current weather conditions.