Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida’s ever-changing weather kept visitors guessing on day three of Urban Beach Week.
“It did rain earlier. You can’t tell now,” said Kim Rice who is visiting from Jacksonville.
“It rained twice in 10 minutes and then it stopped and then the sun came out and then it rained again,” said New York visitor Jihad Swan.
The event, which began Friday, forced traffic patterns changes in Miami Beach. Authorities closed off Ocean Drive from 5th Street to 15th Street – they also made it for pedestrians only. Collins Avenue was transitioned into a one way lane traveling northbound and Washington is now one way southbound. And lastly, Alton Road is for residents only.
This was all done to accommodate the thousands of people who came to party it up Memorial Day Weekend.
“We found a parking spot and just decided to walk,” said Orlando visitor Tiffany Walsh.
Up to an estimated 350,000 people have packed Miami Beach for the celebration.
In year’s past the celebration had turned dangerous – even deadly. In 2011 there was the shooting death of Raymond Herisse by Miami Beach cops.
Since then different measures have been put in place, including having hundreds of police officers patrolling on foot, bikes, ATV’s and even watching from towers high above.
“When liquor is involved, people get out of hand. So it’s good to have the cops somewhere nearby,” said Swan.
Police have credited the extra efforts with a decrease in the number of incidents compared to last year.
“It’s indicative that people are coming out and really enjoying themselves and having a great time,” said Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez.
Day three totals show a decrease in the number of arrests. There have been 26 compared to the 48 in 2014. Citations did increase to 437 from 365 in 2014. And the number of calls for service saw a slight decrease – 510 compared to 520 in 2014.