State Leaders Prepare For Upcoming Eclipse In Southeastern Oklahoma

State Leaders Prepare For Upcoming Eclipse In Southeastern Oklahoma

The state is getting ready for thousands of people to travel to Southeastern Oklahoma for the eclipse.

State leaders say they've been getting ready for months to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

The incident management team will head to the area on Wednesday, and the Oklahoma National Guard civil support team will join them to provide assistance. 

State officials say they expect a $7.4 million economic impact each day during the eclipse weekend in southeastern Oklahoma, as more than 60,000 people are expected in the area.

"Southeast Oklahoma, I'll go ahead and just say it, is the best place in the entire world to view this eclipse," said Governor Kevin Stitt. 

The state says they're ready for the crowds.

Tim Tipton is the Commissioner of Public Safety and says the main concern is handling all those cars.

"If you've been to Broken Bow and that area, you know how limited access it is," he said.

They say drivers need to pay attention while driving and do not stop in the road or shoulder to try to watch the eclipse and make sure you have a full gas tank in case you get stuck in traffic and turn on your headlights.

They expect people to trickle in before the eclipse, but everyone will be leaving at the same time, so that's when traffic will be an issue.

"The event is going to be an exercise in congestion management, so that's just to be expected, and I want the traveling public to be aware of that," said Tim Gatz, Oklahoma Department of Transportation Director. 

Some people were worried it would be overcast and people won't be able to see the eclipse.

Todd Lindley with the National Weather Service says it's still too early to tell.

"In fact, that's trending from early forecast of poor potential to more of a moderate potential to at least have clear skies down there," he said.

Just in case cell service doesn't work and people might not have G.P.S., the state says people should get an old-fashioned map so they know where they're going.