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OCSO urges safety ahead of Labor Day weekend -

OCSO urges safety ahead of Labor Day weekend

Posted on August 31, 2017

The Journal staff

WALHALLA — With summer set to come to an unofficial close this weekend, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is offering a number of tips for the public to safely enjoy the extended Labor Day weekend.

In addition to this weekend marking the final holiday of the summer, the Clemson football team is set to open its season Saturday against Kent State, as Sheriff Mike Crenshaw warned traffic will be extra heavy in the coming days, while a potentially wet forecast could also cause headaches.

“We expect traffic to be heavy from time to time from Friday through Monday,” he said. “As we have stated in previous press releases in and around the holidays in the past, our normal and routine law enforcement operations will continue, and our dispatch will be fully staffed and ready to accept calls for service, and our deputies stand ready to respond to those calls and enforce the law accordingly.”

Not only will Oconee County residents see deputies on the road this weekend, but they’ll also see the sheriff’s office’s marine unit on lakes, rivers and county parks and recreation areas as they have been throughout the summer.

Deputies will be keeping an eye out for alcohol and drug violations, while they’ll also be making sure emergency vehicles can make their way in and out of access points.

“One other factor that our citizens may want keep in mind this weekend is an increased chance of rain in the forecast as the remnants of Hurricane Harvey are expected to move west of the Golden Corner … as those remnants travel through parts of Mississippi and Tennessee,” Crenshaw continued. “If you are traveling on the roads and drive through some heavy showers, slow down your speed and give yourself plenty of stopping distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Also, expect the possibility of ponding of water in the roadways. If you are going to be on the water and/or going to be outside, be prepared for the possibility of thunderstorms and seek shelter immediately to prevent being struck by lightning.”

Among the sheriff’s office’s safety tips offered ahead of the holiday weekend were the following:

— Do not consume alcohol and operate any type of motorized vehicle or watercraft. Always have a designated driver and make sure to always buckle up.

— Expect an increased law enforcement presence and prepare for traffic safety checkpoints.

— Always make sure everyone on a boat has a personal flotation device that’s wearable and of proper size for everyone on the boat.

— Make sure to have a cellphone that is fully charged.

— Open containers of alcohol are not allowed in parks and recreation areas operated by Oconee County.

— Use barbecue grills outdoors in well-ventilated areas that are away from anything that could catch fire. Make sure to use long-handed utensils when cooking on a grill, and stay around a grill when in operation.