Emergency management teams prepare for influx of eclipse tourists

Posted at 3:52 PM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-20 19:18:12-04

On Wednesday, Idaho will be just two months away from a massive influx of tourists coming to the state to check out the total solar eclipse

The Idaho Office of Emergency Management estimates upwards of 500,000 people will travel to the Gem State alone. 

The IOEM has been holding weekly meetings since December 2016 to prepare for the tourists. 

"Our partners include Idaho State Police, Idaho Transportation Department, even the Department of Agriculture, Idaho Department of Commerce," IOEM public affairs specialist Elizabeth Duncan said. "Many state agencies have a stake in this."

Nineteen, mostly rural, Idaho counties are in the path of totality of the eclipse. That is why the IOEM is working with those counties to prepare.

"There are so many residual issues that can happen when you have this many people coming for one event that basically lasts two minutes and forty seconds," Duncan said.

The IOEM wants to remind you to travel with water, have extra cash in case an ATM isn't available, and be prepared to be stuck in traffic.

"[Idaho State Police] is very concerned about people just randomly pulling off in the middle of the road because they see this amazing thing on a Monday morning," Duncan said.

Preparation will be key for those wanting to make watching the eclipse both memorable and enjoyable.

"We want people to enjoy this event," Duncan said. "However, the way to do that is to be prepared."

The IOEM will be posting daily alerts and updates on eclipse preparations on their Twitter and Facebook pages.