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Memorial Day includes crowded beaches, highways

Posted May 25, 2015

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— While many paused to honor fallen service members on Memorial Day, others used the day off as a chance to get away and enjoy the weather.

When so many people have the same idea, however, it leads to crowds and delays.

Park rangers had to close access to the beaches at Falls Lake for four hours on Monday because traffic to the state park was overflowing the parking lots and backing up on N.C. Highway 50.

"This is the busiest we've ever seen it," said Steve Fawcett, who brings his family to Falls Lake every year. "It was really crowded on the road coming in."

Rangers said they've had to shut down beach access at times in the past, but they said it was difficult to remember a Memorial Day that was as packed as Monday was.

Some Triangle residents who went to the coast for the day or the weekend had some difficulty getting home Monday evening, as Interstate 40 was down to one lane in each direction in Duplin County for about 90 minutes.

A westbound vehicle towing a trailer with motorcycles on it blew a tire near mile marker 374 at about 4:25 p.m., struck the median guard cables and overturned, the State Highway Patrol said.

Three men in the vehicle were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.


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