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Waterways and roadways expected to be heavily trafficked this weekend

Barren River Lake on 4th of July weekend.
Barren River Lake on 4th of July weekend.(WBKO)
Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 4:58 PM EDT
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Ky. (WBKO) - Lakes and roadways are already seeing heavy traffic heading into the Fourth of July weekend.

Officials are reminding the public how to be safe while on the water and watching the fireworks.

“I wish you luck on your parking endeavors,” said Pierce Craddock of Glasgow who was with his family at the lake.

Even on Friday afternoon, the parking lot at Barren River Lake was starting to fill with cars.

“The Fourth is our busiest time out here,” said Kevin Poynter, Barren County Rescue Dive Team.

Officials say they hope things remain quiet in terms of emergency responses and say that goal is possible if people take precautions.

“We want to get across to everyone--- please wear your life jacket,” said Anita May, Deputy Director with the Glasgow-Barren County Emergency Management along with a member of the dive team.

“Drink water, stay hydrated,” said Poynter.

In addition, members of the Barren County Rescue Dive Team say boaters should make sure everything on their boat is working before they leave land.

“Do your safety checks on the shore before you launch. Flip that switch on, make sure you get your green, red light working on your front,” said Poynter. “In the rear, you have that clear light working. Make sure everything’s working, make sure you have your fire extinguisher.”

When fireworks start on the lake, officials say boats tend to all crowd in one area before and during the show. This can lead to traffic jams when trying to get back to the marina in the dark.

“Everybody’s trying to hurry up and get back to the Marina and to get their boats hooked up on their vehicles and get out of the way. It’s pretty wild down here.”

Meanwhile, the waterways aren’t the only thing expected to be bustling this weekend. Travel volumes in the air and on the roads are expected to nearly fully recover to pre-pandemic levels, experts say.

“We’re seeing a lot of people on the roadway already this week. We expect that the pickup,” said Wes Watt, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Three.

According to AAA, more than 91 percent of holiday travel will be by car, so officials urge travelers to use travel apps like Waze or Google Maps to help them navigate.

“They can help you avoid construction and crashes and things like that. I certainly don’t encourage anyone using it while you’re driving. If you have a passenger in the car, that will certainly be the best thing to do,” expressed Watt.

The firework show on Barren River Lake will take place on July 4 around 9 or 9:15 p.m. when it gets dark.

If you don’t watch from your boat, Sunset Cove opens at 2 p.m. with a fee of $15 per vehicle.

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