The solar eclipse is rapidly approaching and, for the towns that happen to be in the narrow 70-mile band of best observation, this means gearing up for quite the influx of people and traffic.
For some towns this astronomical occurrence will be immensely profitable. As Brooke Jung, the full-time eclipse marketing and events consultant in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, told Fast Company “It’s essentially like hosting the Super Bowl without having to build a stadium.”
That sounds very exciting, but for small cities that aren’t used to hosting major sporting events, hosting that many people may put a strain on both infrastructure and resources. If you’re planning on traveling to one of these viewing locations, there are a few concerns you should be aware of:
- Traffic is going to be bad: According to Citylab, gridlocks are expected for several days before and after the eclipse, and getting in and out of the towns could feel like a major evacuation.
- EMS, fire fighters, and police may be slower to respond than usual: Though some cities are pulling in additional personnel and positioning them in key positions ahead of traffic, it’s still possible that emergency responders could get locked in and slowed down.
So, if you are planning on making a trek out to one of the prime eclipse viewing locations (or just live near one), make sure you give yourself plenty of time, drive carefully, and be aware of potential strains on infrastructure. Or you could just stay home and watch a livestream . That’s what I’ll be doing.
The Darker Side of This Summer’s Total Solar Eclipse | Citylab