CCSO details PGA traffic plan on Johns Island

By Nikki

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- The countdown is on to the 2012 PGA Championship. There are some Johns Island traffic concerns brewing with just one month to go until the big event.

To address them, deputies with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office{}talked with{}homeowners during a special meeting at the Wesley United Methodist Church.

"We're going to have a lot of folks coming into this community," one deputy told those in attendance.

Charleston County deputies say they've been{}working diligently on a plan since the latter part of last year to deal with the influx of visitors.

"Getting through the traffic is going to be impossible," said Johns Island resident, Lorna Hattler.

Hattler says trying to get to and from Johns Island can be a nightmare.

"It backs up and comes to a stand still on a normal day," she said.

Captain Thomas Robertson says 10 extra traffic officers will work the island during the PGA. Some of the officers will be riding motorcycles.

"They will respond immediately to any calls for service that may affect traffic," said Robertson.

Portable message boards will also go up informing drivers of exactly where they need to go and if there are any traffic problems. Deputies will also direct traffic as necessary.

"We've also got wreckers on standby. They'll be staged in local areas. We've got a service truck that will be riding around delivering gas, making jumps, changing tires, anything we can think of to expedite the clearing of any traffic issues," said Robertson.

Some are still skeptical that deputies will be able to keep up with the big crowds.

"The traffic is really going to do so many things to the island," said William Saunders who has called the island home for 74 years.

"The problem is it's just too big of an event to be held out on Kiawah," said Hattler.

There will also be a marine patrol on standby during the PGA. The South Carolina Highway Patrol and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources{}will assist the sheriff's office according to Robertson.

Robertson says his deputies will carefully monitor traffic along the island from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.{}throughout tournament week.