Hopkinsville prepares for massive influx of visitors for solar eclipse

(Courtesy: Rick Fienberg / TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel)

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HOPKINSVILLE, Ky, (WKRN) – Local residents and business owners say they’re preparing now before an influx of an estimated 100,000 people descend upon their sleepy, Kentucky town.

Hopkinsville is being called “Eclipseville” because of its location. It will have the longest duration of anywhere in the area.

Brooke Jung is the Solar Eclipse Specialist for Hopkinsville. She says they’ve been preparing for over a year for the eclipse, but now it’s the locals’ turn to prepare.

“We really have been working to make sure our restaurants have enough food, our ATMs have enough money, and our gas stations have enough gas,” Jung said. “We’re getting the word out to our locals to get your gas, food, and cash before all our visitors arrive Friday.”

Jung says stores could run out of things temporarily but many places have prepared to quickly restock.

Max and Sons, LLC owns eight gas stations between Hopkinsville and Christian County. The company says they’ve made sure their suppliers know they’ll need a lot more fuel than usual this weekend.

“We knew this day was coming and it’s the calm before the storm,” said Eddie Prevette, Dispatch Manager. “We just don’t know what to expect. We don’t know if it’s 50,000 or 200,000 people coming to Christian County but either way we’re going to do our best. Our trucks will be out Saturday and Sunday. It’s just a team effort company wide.”

The Christian County Sheriff’s Department says it’s “all hands on deck” starting Friday at 6 a.m.

“We are anticipating the influx of people to start beginning to come in [Friday] morning. Probably over the next three days is when we’re going to see the most increase, and we’ll probably see the greatest increase Sunday evening into Monday morning,” said spokesman Capt. Chris Miller with the Christian County Sheriff’s Department

The department will have about four times as many deputies on staff than they normally do to make sure everyone is safe, especially on the roadways.

They’re also helping activate the Emergency Office of Communications Monday morning. They say communication is paramount and cell phone service will likely be spotty.

Hopkinsville says it has digital and static signs out to help move traffic. Their biggest concern is keeping people moving on the roadways.

More on the total solar eclipse:

Visit wkrn.com/eclipse for all the resources and information you need.