Deputies step up patrols as thousands visit NC mountains for Memorial Day

·2 min read

The Memorial Day weekend has brought thousands of people to the North Carolina mountains. But the influx of people meant communities saw overcrowding and extra trash.

In Caldwell County, deputies stepped up patrols along Wilson Creek because of the huge number of visitors.

The sheriff’s office said it had half a dozen deputies in the area. They said authorities had to tow several cars over the weekend blocking the main road that runs along Wilson Creek.

Channel 9′s Dave Faherty was at Wilson Creek Monday morning where much of the parking was already filled up.

Dawn Church and her family left early Monday morning to get a good spot.

“It gets pretty crowded up here. You have to leave pretty early to get a good spot,” Church said.

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Chris Barber also went to the area hoping to kayak, but by the time he arrived at 10:30 a.m., there wasn’t a single spot left along the four mile stretch of road.

“We knew it would be crowded but I didn’t think it would be this packed. We could use a little more parking but there just isn’t any room out here,” Barber said.

Faherty said sheriff deputies were using loud speakers to try to let visitors along the creek know their cars were about to be towed because they had parked illegally, preventing emergency vehicles from getting through.

At the entrance to Wilson Creek, there were volunteers with the organization “A Clean Wilson Creek” passing out bags encouraging people to to take their trash with them when they leave.

“It can be devastating. Over a holiday weekend, 3,000 pounds of trash can easily be picked up. Three to four thousand pounds of trash,” said volunteer Jim Calore.

The group said they will pass out more than 700 trash bags during the holiday weekend.

The National Forest Service and NC Wildlife also helps remove the trash through the summer months when traffic in the area is busy.

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