How Galveston officials are working to have a safe Memorial Day weekend
GALVESTON, Texas – The Memorial Day weekend means thousands of people will be heading to Galveston.
Last weekend, the Go Topless Jeep Weekend caused mayhem on the Bolivar Peninsula.
Officials are determined to not allow it to happen again.
What are officials doing this weekend?
"We've increased patrols for Bolivar Peninsula. We put more manpower over in our jail," Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said. "If you could try to use a little common sense and if you're going to drive have a designated driver like you've been told for years."
How busy will it be?
Galveston Island Beach Patrol Chief Peter Davis said the island is expecting more than 500,000 visitors this weekend.
"We expect things to be super busy. The hotels are already booked and full. All the day trippers are starting to show up now," Davis said. "This is our biggest weekend of the year, for the most part. It's also right when we start our big training academy, so it all kinda starts out at once for us."
What visitors are saying
People making their way down to the beach for the weekend said they're looking forward to the experience.
"We came out here to go to the beach and kinda experience it for the first time," Jhamhl Hill said.
Some went to the beach for other celebrations.
Hill, C.J. Gross and Ian Moore arrived for a bachelor party.
"Man, I'm just here because Texas does it big," Moore said.
Fecal matter in water
If the water is your thing, you're in luck. High bacteria levels have dropped thanks to the rain last week.
"This time because we had such a heavy inundation, we had them (bacteria) spike along the beachfront. Today, they've lifted most of them," Davis said.
What is the weather forecast?
According to KPRC2 meteorologist Eric Braate, a strong onshore wind will continue to make swimming on Gulf-facing beaches dangerous throughout the Memorial Day Weekend.
Strong rip currents will be common.
He said to make sure to swim near a lifeguard and away from rocks, piers and jetties, where rip currents are the strongest.
Under red flag conditions, stay in waist-deep or shallower water. And, in the unfortunate event that you do get caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore to break free from it.
Where should you go?
At Dolphin World on the island, summer is a big deal.
"We can't wait for the tourists to come because this is the beginning," Shlomo Hamo said.
Hamo is the owner of Dolphin World. He and his son Amos said Memorial Day weekend marks the start of what they hope will be a blockbuster summer.
"We want the locals to get out and spend money. We want the tourists to shop and enjoy the beach," Amos said.
Along the seawall, summertime fun brought out the curious and those grateful for another trip around the sun.
"Man we're just out here trying to get something to eat, try to have some fun and enjoy the water out here," Raul Gallardo said.
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