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Eclipse: Think snow, that's how emergency planners view historic event

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Friday, August 4, 2017

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Starting at 2:39 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21 viewers in the Upstate will experience the longest period of 100 percent total eclipse  ranging from two minutes and 30 seconds to two minutes and 36 seconds of total darkness.
 

Starting at 2:39 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21 viewers in the Upstate will experience the longest period of 100 percent total eclipse  ranging from two minutes and 30 seconds to two minutes and 36 seconds of total darkness.

 

Think a snow event and that is how the South Carolina Emergency Management Department (SCEMD) is planning for the eclipse as it crosses the Upstate and South Carolina.

Grocery stores, gas stations, hotels, restaurants, transportation services, coffee shops, retail stores, urgent care clinics and many other establishments will experience a jump in business, according to the SCEMD.

Starting at 2:39 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21 viewers who have gathered in areas like Greenville, Columbia and Charleston will experience the longest period of 100 percent total eclipse for a metro area on the entire east coast— ranging from two minutes and 30 seconds to two minutes and 36 seconds of total darkness.

Emergency managers are planning for an estimated influx of more than one million visitors into South Carolina for several days on either side of the eclipse.

Residents

• Start planning now for where you will go to view the eclipse and make sure you're prepared.

 • Prepare in advance to take care of your normal weekend activities.

 • Fill your car up with gas and buy groceries before the weekend.

• Even if you do not plan to participate in any eclipse-related activities, expect heavy traffic and extremely busy areas in much of South Carolina.

Visitors

• Follow the guidance of local public safety officials and event organizers.

• County emergency managers, local police and fire fighters know their communities and how best to direct you to where you would like to go.

• Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination throughout the weekend. Traffic will be heavy with large crowds going to and from events all weekend.
 
• Once you get to your eclipse event, stay there until well after the eclipse is over.
 
• If you are driving during the eclipse, keep moving. Do not stop your vehicle along interstates or any roadway.
 
• Be prepared for extreme heat.
 
• Make sure you have bottled water, sunscreen, first aid kit and protective eyewear like eclipse viewing glasses.
 
• Take time to become familiar with the state’s emergency plans and know what to do in the event of a hurricane, an earthquake or any type of severe weather and large-scale emergency. Visit scemd.org for more information.
 
• Call 9-1-1 for life-safety emergencies only..
 
• Make sure family members or friends back home know your schedule, when you are expected to return and your plan if something happens.
 

 

 

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