Hoptown kicks off eclipse weekend and officials address plan

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HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (WBKO) -- Today in Hopkinsville, officials addressed their emergency and traffic plans for the eclipse.

With a normal population of around thirty thousand, the town nearly doubled in size today.

"We anticipate that there's probably about twenty five thousand people that have come into the community today," says Brooke Young, Eclipse Marketing/Event Consultant.

People gathered Friday afternoon for an eclipse kickoff festival with food trucks, vendors, music and people lining the streets.

However, by Monday the town expects to see a total of 150,000 people all there to experience the total solar eclipse.

"We're here to support the safety of our citizens in the commonwealth and any visitors," says Wayne Burd, Assistant Director of Operations at Kentucky Emergency Management.

Officials say with confidence that they are fully prepared and over staffed.

"We have a large planning team that came together and we've developed quite the plan that we think will be sufficient to get everyone in to Christian County, and let them have a great time with this eclipse," says Randy Graham, Christian County Emergency Management Director.

Naturally, the biggest issues consist of traffic and the hot weather.

"Make sure you have water with you because with the heat and humidity it'll be easy to get stuck in traffic, have an issue with your air conditioner and become dehydrated," says Graham.

Officials in Hopkinsville also say they won't be closing any streets or be directing traffic in the opposite direction. ​

In case of emergencies officials reassure they have a solution.

"We've got shelters and also cooling shelters available as well," explains Graham.

Also, people can expect spotty cell phone service which means no GPS.

"Know where you're going and also print maps," says Graham.

It's important to have a plan and a "boatload of patience" as Graham put it.

"Go to where you're going, stay put, and then stay late."

The three day countdown begins now.

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