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Selfie Lovers Disrupt Traffic over Super Bloom in California

Selfie Lovers Disrupt Traffic over Super Bloom in California

Thursday, 21 March, 2019 - 06:15
People pose for a picture among wildflowers in bloom Monday, March 18, 2019, in Lake Elsinore, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
This weekend thousands of tourists frolicked through fields of poppies in California, posting photos tagged #superbloom. But, according to The Guardian, for the town of Lake Elsinore, the influx of visitors quickly became a nightmare.

More than 50,000 visitors, who were keen to take photos of this phenomenon, flocked to the area, creating hours-long traffic in the surrounding region and the city streets around the trailhead. Things got so bad that the town was forced to bar access to Walker Canyon, one of the most popular sites of poppy flowers.

The city wrote on its Facebook and Instagram pages: "This weekend has been unbearable in Lake Elsinore. We know it has been miserable and has caused unnecessary hardships for our entire community."

Social media had been used to draw the attention of people posting thousands of photos on platforms. Some of the most popular posts soon drew critical comments: "Trampling the flowers for a photo? Now they shut it down. Not worth it for a pic," wrote a user.

Lake Elsinore’s mayor, Steve Manos, has been on a social media too, posting regular Facebook video updates showing the traffic and offering advice on how visitors can avoid it.

An Elsinore resident said the weekend had brought the worst crowding she had ever seen. "The last super bloom, two years ago, was nothing like this. This bloom is so much larger and getting so much press," she noted. Beside the traffic and residents' complaints, the crowds also faced another obstacle: rattlesnakes, which are waking up from hibernation this spring. At least one visitor was bitten.

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