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Solar eclipse in April expected to bring extra travelers to Western Kentucky

Expected to bring at least 150,000 visitors to several Western Kentucky counties

                                        solar

(Story Courtesy of Kentucky Today)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – State and local agencies are preparing for an influx of travelers during the total solar eclipse that will sweep across 13 states, including parts of Kentucky on the afternoon of Monday, April 8.

The celestial event is expected to bring at least 150,000 visitors to several Western Kentucky counties that are in the path of totality, with another one million travelers expected to drive through Kentucky to viewing spots along the main path in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

The solar eclipse will be a memorable and fun event for many Kentucky families,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “I encourage Kentuckians who intend to watch it to plan early to make this event safe for all. Choose your viewing location in advance, expect increased traffic and remember to take essentials, like protective eyewear and water."

According to NASA, a total solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, blocking the sun’s light. The phenomenon happens when the Earth, moon and sun are aligned and only the corona of the sun is visible, like a halo. This rare event can be observed only in specific regions and, of course, the sky must be sunny, as it was for the 2017 eclipse.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is working with Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM), Kentucky State Police (KSP) and local emergency agencies on event impacts, including the potential traffic issues that may arise from thousands of visitors traveling through the state.

The total solar eclipse will impact eight Kentucky counties and clip portions of four others. The totality phase will enter Kentucky around 2 p.m., CDT, in parts of Fulton and Hickman counties before rolling across Ballard, McCracken, Livingston, Crittenden, Union and Henderson counties along the Ohio River. It also clips small portions of Carlisle, Graves, Webster, and Daviess counties.

“Ensuring smooth traffic flow is crucial for everyone's safety,” said Transportation Secretary Jim Gray. “Motorists should refrain from parking on or along highways during the solar eclipse to ensure first responders have a path to respond to emergencies.”

Several local communities in the total viewing path are organizing eclipse-related events on April 8. For more information visit the Kentucky tourism website.

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