The solar eclipse on Aug. 21 is undoubtedly the most anticipated event of 2017 since President Trump’s inauguration. It’s already being predicted to be the most photographed, most tweeted, most Facebooked, and most Instagrammed event in human history. And that means a whole lot of people will be watching the skies on the same day.
That’s why numerous cities, counties, and other government agencies are issuing massive warnings about the eclipse and how it may cause a much greater disruption to your fair hamlet than you may expect if you live anywhere near the path of totality. In fact, some of their warnings are so dire you’d think the sudden darkening of the sky in the middle of the day was going to usher forth the zombie apocalypse.
In the state of Washington, which is too far north to see the moon totally block the sun, advisories are being issued for massive traffic jams as Washingtonians head south to the total eclipse state of Oregon, according to Q13 Fox.
“Don’t expect to be able to get up early Monday morning and drive down to Oregon. There’s going to be lots of traffic, and you may not make it,” Washington State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Barbara LaBoe advised.
In Oregon, the first state to see the sun go dark, Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Don Hamilton said the traffic in his state could be like "a football day on I-5, where the Ducks and Beavers are both playing at home, but multiplied by 10," according to The Oregonian.
Meanwhile in Idaho, the state’s second largest city of Idaho Falls is ground zero for the eclipse and is seeing a massive skyrocket in hotel prices during the upcoming Moonfest Music Festival.
“If you look at our Motel 6 here in Idaho Falls, it went for $950 a night, and multiple night minimum,” said Idaho Falls Fire Chief Dave Hanneman, according to Fox 13.
The numbers of visitors Wyoming could see could match or even rival the state’s entire population of just over half a million, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle Nebraska is expecting to see the biggest event in its state’s history, according to the Omaha World-Herald. According to KMOV St. Louis, Missouri may see widespread cellphone service outages as out-of-towners flood in for an eclipse the likes of which has not occured there in 500 years.
News Channel 5 in Kentucky is warning travelers of high temperatures and crowded highways that could make emergency response times very long. Tennessee officials have the same concerns, according to WKRN. Not surprisingly, Nashville, the largest city in the direct path of the eclipse, is hosting a massive Music City Solar Eclipse festival.
In rural northern Georgia, the Beechwood Inn near Clayton is seeing a demand for rooms like they’ve never seen before, according to CBS 46.
Beechwood’s Toni Johnson explained, “We were getting 15-20 calls a day…asking if we still had rooms and we had to explain to them...we have a waiting list of over 40 now.”
In South Carolina, the last state to see the eclipse, a million visitors are expected despite a higher likelihood of cloudier skies than in the West.
State officials have one clear message: “Be prepared” for the Great American Eclipse.
Know who else has a warning about the eclipse? Billy Graham's daughter, and her warning is from a hugely different perspective.