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KSP, state Transportation Cabinet prepping for April 8 solar eclipse

On April 8 at about 3 p.m. eastern time, the totality of a solar eclipse will pass through western Kentucky.
On April 8 at about 3 p.m. eastern time, the totality of a solar eclipse will pass through western Kentucky.

On April 8th at around 3 o’clock eastern time, parts of western Kentucky will go dark during the totality of a solar eclipse. Trooper Corey King of state police post 16 in Henderson says during the 2017 eclipse, there were traffic back-ups and motorists who, whether they knew it or not, created dangerous situations.

“A lot of spectators were merely pulling off the side of the road, on the emergency shoulders, and that's what we're discouraging. We don't want people to pull off in the emergency shoulders. Obviously, at that point, you're still gonna have the semis, the commuters, that's coming through. And some people that may be completely oblivious to what is happening. And now you're having the roadways lined up with spectators alongside the interstate.”

King says that could keep first responders from getting to a wreck or other emergencies promptly and even cause accidents. He says state police are working with the Kentucky Department of Transportation and road contractors to ensure barrels can be moved to clear the way in construction zones. The goal is to get visitors in and out quickly, effectively and safely.

“What we're telling the spectators that are traveling, just basically have your vehicle prepared, like you're getting ready to enter a big snow event, have everything your fuel topped off your car, in good working condition, water in your in your car, as well as cell phone chargers. And I would also go into recommending printing off a map.”

That’s because cell phone towers may be overloaded, so folks using a phone app for a map could be out of luck. King says KSP patrols will be beefed up before, during and after the darkness.

“You will see troopers staged up and down the interstates, parkways periodically. So in an event that there is a wreck, there is a trooper nearby to rectify that problem and get it off the roadway so we can get the spectators in and out.”

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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