On Road Or Water, Officials Urge Memorial Day Safety - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

On Road Or Water, Officials Urge Memorial Day Safety

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MISSOULA - With extra traffic on the roads this Memorial Day weekend, and people around town celebrating the holiday, local law enforcement said this could add up to be a dangerous weekend. The biggest concerns this weekend are the busy roads, along with the high waters creating dangerous conditions for river goers.

Missoula is busy with people out and about catching some sun to kick off the summer season.

"It's my day off, so I'm enjoying the weather for the first time," said one river goer Sam Tolman.

While numbers from AAA show more than 36 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the upcoming Memorial Day  weekend, many locals are more than happy to stay right here in town.

"I'll probably play some frisbee golf, I'm going to go kayaking today. Sunday I'll probably hike the 'M'," said local, Emily Sumstine

"People like to go camping, they like to travel, they like to have backyard barbecues," said Missoula Police Department Detective Sergeant Travis Welsh.

Welsh said whether people are leaving town, or not, the celebration of the holiday is bound to create some dangers.

"The biggest tragedy is when something starts out exciting, and ends in tragedy, because someone wasn't being safe," Welsh said.

When the temperatures rise and the snow pack is melting, water levels rise and the river becomes one of Missoula's biggest dangers.

"If you're out on the water, make sure you have your life jackets with you, and you observe all safety rules," Welsh said.

Missoula police also say to buckle up. Welsh said with so many people leaving town, they won't have extra patrols on duty.

"A lot of times people want to go out of town that first weekend of summer, so things don't necessarily increase inside the city," Welsh said.

They said that doesn't mean law enforcement won't have their hands full.

"We're prepared for the usual stuff we prepare for every day," Welsh said.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office will also have patrols keeping a close eye out for people who aren't buckled up and drunk drivers. They're also reminding anyone who goes near the river to be cautious.

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