I have had many people who are concerned about the solar eclipse on August the 21st and the possibility of a large number of people coming in to the county to witness the event. I thought I would share with you some information that I have received and information on what we can all do to make this event as safe, enjoyable and productive as possible.
By talking with several state agencies, we have all agreed that there is just no way to predict how many people will be coming in to Brown County or other areas of the state where the eclipse will be prevalent. There have been many estimates, but until that day arrives, we will just have to make sure we are prepared to handle whatever comes our way. I know we will see an increase of people that day and I am confidant that all will go well.
I have been monitoring many sources of information on the event, and many residents have kept me aware of those coming in to camp out ahead of the event and where they will be staying. From what I have been told so far, there are at least a dozen areas or more where there could be a large number of campers and the area hotel rooms have been spoken for many weeks ago. We are expecting people to start arriving Saturday the 19th, and most leaving Monday after the eclipse which is shortly after 1 p.m.
I would like our county residents to know that we are planning on meeting the needs of any issues that should arise from this event. It is very important that our roadways stay cleared for any emergency vehicles that need to respond to those in need and I will have extra deputies staffed throughout the county. Extra dispatch and jail staff will also be available if needed.
Many people have asked me how they can prepare should our county have an abundance of people which could severely impact routine travel and business as usual. My suggestion was to plan as if a major winter storm was coming. Make sure to have plenty of food, water,groceries, formula, diapers,medicine and gasoline in your vehicles etc. Allow extra time if you have to travel on this date as our area is not the only one to be affected by this event.
If you are planning on viewing the event. we stress to everyone to make sure you have the appropriate eye protection. Parents, make sure to inform your kids on the proper way to view this eclipse.
I also want to stress that residents do not need to panic, many agencies and provisions are in place for your safety during this event and we will do our best to make sure it is safe and enjoyable for all. Should you have any concerns, questions or information we should know about, please feel free to contact me at 785-742-7125
Sheriff John D Merchant
Brown County Sheriff’s Office