Sunday, August 20

States prepare for massive influx of eclipse visitors

Days before a rare solar eclipse crosses the United States, state governments in its path are preparing to handle hundreds of thousands of visitors.
People are expected to flock to remote regions of the country for pristine views of the eclipse, activating emergency operation centers ordinarily reserved for storms, snow and forest fires.
Tourists are already congregating in rural Oregon, where a 30-mile traffic jam snarled a two-lane highway north of Bend on Thursday. The state expects as many as a million tourists over the next few days — the equivalent of 25 percent of the entire state’s population.
Gov. Kate Brown (D) said earlier this month she would activate the Oregon Air and Army National Guard to help ease traffic congestion. Extra ambulances will be at the ready, and the state has opened its Emergency Coordination Center to handle the influx. Brown will host troops of Girl Scouts for a watch party at the state capitol in Salem.
“State agencies, along with our local, tribal and federal partners, have extensively planned and are well-coordinated to make the 2017 total solar eclipse a safe and memorable event,” Brown said.

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