State troopers interrupt large crowds at Schramm Park violating social distancing

Published: May. 1, 2020 at 9:17 PM CDT
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Local law enforcement and Schramm State Park have a crowd control problem on their hands.

Hundreds of people were packed along the Platte River today, violating state health measures.

In a Six On Your Side exclusive, a Nebraska State Trooper says today was the busiest he's seen the area, and officials are working to solve other problems surrounding the park.

This is no beach in California, this is video from Schramm State Park in Sarpy County Friday night.

The park borders the Platte River and from a distance park visitor Bill Jones couldn't believe his eyes.

“I came down here with my wife and two dogs for some peace and quiet. This may be one of the last places for that—very shocking. I've never seen more than 10 people out there,” said Jones. "What I see right now looks like a pretty big party. And there doesn't look like much social distancing."

Nebraska State Troopers have responded to multiple calls regarding the crowds before tonight.

They’re reminding visitors to respect social distancing guidelines set by the governor while tackling other issues at the park.

"For one, we've got social distancing to worry about. We've got minors drinking, that's an issue. And if they're going to park in the park they need a parking permit,” said Trooper Dan Klimak with the State Patrol.

Most of these parked cars are here without a parking permit. Some drivers think parking in the street on Highway-31 would avoid the problem.

But the trooper says that's a safety issue.

"We contacted Department of Roads and put up 'no parking' signs and we're going to see if we can make that permanent,” said Klimak. “People have been cooped up, they want to get out. We want it to be safe for families to come out here and enjoy it responsibly."

This beach formed after last year's floods. Now frequent visitors worry about the trash left behind by new visitors.

Bill worries it could drive off long-time park visitors like himself from coming back again.

"My fear is there's going to be a lot of trash and debris left behind that really junks up this pretty river,” said Bill.

The Nebraska State Patrol says they only warned park visitors about social distancing violations.

Nebraska Game and Parks released the following statement,

“Park grounds are currently open for day use only. Beaches are currently open, but closure is under consideration because of several incidents. The Commission's top priority is to protect the health and well-being of all Nebraskans. The Commission's ability to keep state park and recreation areas open depends upon people complying with the 10-person limit, practicing social distancing, and limiting travel as recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services. People recreating outdoors should limit travel and choose activities close to home, avoid any crowded areas, practice social distancing, abide by the 10-person limit rule and recreate only with members of their own household, use proper hygiene as recommended by the CDC and follow all local health directives.”