Government officials expect disaster during eclipse


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We’re all gonna die! According to this trashy Newsweek article, government officials are expecting disaster and societal collapse because a lot of people are going to travel to see the August 21 eclipse.

Here’s why many folks are planning for a disaster: Oregon has a population of 4 million people, and the eclipse is expected to draw 1 million visitors to the state for a few days. In Missouri, preparations resemble that for a blizzard or “everything from St. Patrick’s Day parade to a World Series celebration,” says Chris Hernandez, city spokesman for Kansas City, Missouri, one of the larger metro areas in the path of the eclipse.

All of those visitors are expected to clog interstates, along with state and local roads, for days before and after the eclipse, much like the rush during emergency evacuations, says Brad Kieserman, vice president of disaster operations and logistics for the American Red Cross. “Some of these places are never going to see traffic like this,” he says. In some areas, “the population will be double or triple.”

Once visitors arrive, they’ll need bottles of water, lodging and restrooms. And, of course, solar glasses.

This fear-mongering reminds me of the Y2K bug. Somehow it was going to shut down society, something I thought was a load of hooey, and turned out to be exactly that, hooey. This Newsweek junk article is just more of the same.

Be prepared, exercise personal responsibility, and all will be well. The only ones who will have a problem will be people who take these articles too seriously.

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8 comments

  • Calvin G Dodge

    We’ve had full eclipses before, yet I don’t recall any disasters resulting from them. This is like the “1 in 8 millenials has never seen a live cow” story – faux concern to enhance clickbait.

  • Andi

    IIRC, one of the major reasons that Y2K was not a disaster is that everyone freaked about it early enough and loud enough that it got fixed. I was involved in many software projects in the 90s to do just that.

  • wayne

    Calvin-
    Good stuff.

    It occurs to me, my father & mother travelled to the Baja peninsula in July of 1991, for the eclipse. (one of those scientific-expedition tours. I’m looking at a nice 2 x 3 color print on my wall right now.)
    – If a rather small town in Mexico could handle the influx of tourists, we’ll be OK. (san Jose Del Cabo)

    Unfortunately, it’s more than just click-bait, I hear anecdotally in Oregon, the mastermind’s are working themselves up into a panic over this. (and that always involves spending money)

    Market adjustments have already been made, it’s not like a natural disaster out of the blue. I’m sure Walmart has ordered extra snacks & the Pancake House will be fully staffed up.

    I would tie this into the It’s A Wonderful Loaf video, big time. Nobody in the government needs to “Make Plans.”

    And toss this in:
    Total Solar Eclipse – July 11, 1991
    https://youtu.be/XtSLZFItx5o

  • Wodun

    It reads as if they don’t think states like Oregon are used to having people around. But Oregon gets a ton of tourists every year. They have paved roads, highways, and freeways. They have stores and restaurants. They have hotels and campgrounds. All of these things get used regularly. Same with all of the other states.

    All of the residents have travelled to other states too. It not like they have never seen traffic before.

    It is like there is a tinge of ethnocentrism from the author.

    Sure, at the moment of the eclipse, there will be a lot of people out but other than that, it isn’t going to be that bad.

  • D.K. Williams

    Might rain.

  • wayne

    wodun-
    Good stuff.

    D.K.–
    Ditto.

    “Historical average cloud cover along the eclipse path”
    http://www.eclipse2017.org/2017/weather/2017_clouds.htm

  • eddie willers

    Might rain.

    The most rain I ever saw I was on a beach at Hilton Head Island (way before it’s development) waiting for the eclipse of March 7, 1970.

    I live only about 60 miles from totality this time. My whole plan is to get up and drive up I-85 until traffic stops me.
    I hope the area around Anderson, South Carolina is clear that day.

  • Rod Packwood

    As I understand Y2k. COBOL business programs tended to have lots of dates. 4 digit years thousands of them ate up memory which in those days was not so available as now. 1999 became 99. OK what happens at 2000? 00 in the subsequent instructions. A valid question, a valid concern. Almost all large companies rewrote/upgraded their software. A power plant and a warehouse chain in the UK had problems when the 21st century arrived. Y2k was a good thing. Predictions made, respected and cheers alround. On the otherhand the AGW computer rubbish muddys the water for us all.

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