LINCOLN – Plan ahead and watch out for the other person, may be the best advice as Nebraska anticipates a huge influx of visitors during and just before the August 21st solar eclipse. A diagonal path of totality splits Nebraska from the northwest to the southeast part of the state.
Governor Pete Ricketts and other state officials held a news conference Monday to discuss the plans being made for the once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Governor Ricketts says Nebraskans should exercise a bit of patience, as well.
:12 “come back again”
Ricketts briefly donned a pair of eclipse glasses today, as officials estimated between 100,000 and 400,000 additional visitors for the event. Officials acknowledged pinning down that number, is difficult at best.
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, Nebraska State Patrol, Department of Roads, Tourism Commission and Game and Parks Commission took part in the Governor’s news conference, Monday morning. Earl Imler of NEMA says the agency is coordinating with other state agencies.
:35 “across our state”
Executive Director of the Nebraska Tourism Commission, John Ricks says the event is not sneaking up on the state. He says planners in all areas of the state have be working on the eclipse for as long as two years, because of the potential economic impact.
:17 “into this”
The Nebraska Department of Transportation is working with contractors to minimize construction during increased traffic, and postponing maintenance work around the time of the eclipse. No oversized slow-moving traffic will be permitted the day of the eclipse. Deputy Director Moe Jamshidi said people should allow extra time to get to their viewing area, and he urges people to use seatbelts.
:24 “as possible”
You can download a D.O.T. app on your phone, and the Nebraska Department of Transportation has launched a website dealing with the eclipse. Acting Nebraska State Patrol Superintendent Russ Stanczyk says the patrol will have extra troopers working on the weekend and the day of the eclipse.
:24 “through the state”
Ricketts says the eclipse may be bigger than Nebraska football games, the College World Series and Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting, combined.