California city officials declared a public safety emergency over the weekend at Lake Elsinore's Walker Canyon amid a massive influx of visitors who came to see (and 'Gram) the canyon's poppies during a rare super bloom.
The city took to Facebook to declare the emergency, stating that the past weekend has been miserable for the community. "This weekend has been unbearable,” Lake Elsinore's City Hall said via Facebook. “We will evaluate all options next week including ways to shut this down.…We know it has been miserable and has caused unnecessary hardships for our entire community.”
The commotion surrounding the poppies resulted in the creation of hashtags like #PoppyShutdown, #PoppyNightmare, #IsItOverYet, and #HanginthereLE, after their announcement on their Facebook page.
Some Instagrammers who posted photos from the poppy fields are facing backlash in their comments.
According to NASA, the rare botanical event only happens once every few years, creating a frenzy for what has become the ultimate Insta-wall. Visitors flocked to the canyon to get the perfect photo, despite the rough terrain. According to USA Today, "[w]ildflower-seekers slid and fell down the side of Walker Canyon that was never meant to be hiked on, though some managed to do so anyways-even in very chic wedge heels. Families and Instagram-influencer wannabes alike attempted feats of free-climbing and scrambling as large boulders toppled down behind them as every step kicked more rocks loose, threatening to squish children or seniors who couldn’t lunge out of the way fast enough." One injury was reported.
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