Extra law enforcement coming to Tybee Island for July 4th, unpermitted event crowds

Published: Jun. 29, 2023 at 9:30 AM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - As we head into July 4th weekend, public safety is at the top of people’s minds. That’s especially true for leaders on Tybee Island.

They are preparing not just for typical July 4th crowds this weekend, but also an unpermitted event that’s being advertised as similar to April’s Orange Crush.

Orange Crush in April saw over 40,000 people flock to the island, and as a result, traffic was gridlocked, effectively shutting down the island.

City officials have also talked about how emergency services were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people and they’re determined not to experience the same thing this weekend.

According to Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions, the city will be getting help from the Georgia State Patrol, as well as the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office and even the Department of Natural Resources to help protect the dunes.

She said that traffic control measures will be in place, which includes a lane just for emergency responders being open at all times, as well as some streets being blocked off.

Tow trucks will be ready to tow cars if people are parked incorrectly, and there will also be signs on the island showing when the parking lots are full.

Mayor Sessions says that all in all, the city has spent around $180,000 beefing up public safety measures for this weekend.

“We have taken every step that we can. There are still things that are out of our control. Our state and the county still have much more influence than Tybee does, but we have used all of our partnerships and relationships to ensure that we have that additional protection,” Mayor Sessions said.

The city of Tybee will be providing food and lodging for law enforcement officers to avoid them getting stuck in traffic off the island.

Mayor Sessions recommends that if you are wanting to come to Tybee this weekend, come early and leave early.