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'This will not be armageddon': McLennan County Emergency Management prepares Waco for Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse Preparations
Posted at 6:12 PM, Mar 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-05 19:12:01-05

MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — Prepping for the big day, Waco emergency management is getting the city ready for the rush of visitors for the April 8th Eclipse. With the eclipse a little more than a month away, the City of Waco’s Emergency Management is taking steps to keep you prepared and safe.

  • The City of Waco is expecting around 100 thousand visitors to be in Waco the weekend of the eclipse, and to prepare, Waco’s emergency management has held extensive meetings for years preparing for all possibilities and impacts the eclipse could bring.
  • Some tips for residents, make sure you get everything you need before the weekend of April 5th, that goes for groceries and gas. Ryan Dirker says purchase an extra of an item you may need, but you want to avoid doing any panic buying

BROADCAST SCRIPT:
“This will not be Armageddon — it’s going to be a really cool astronomical event,” said Ryan Dirker the coordinator with McLennan County Emergency Management.

The City of Waco is expecting around 100 thousand visitors to be in Waco the weekend of the eclipse, and to prepare, Waco’s emergency management has held extensive meetings for years preparing for all possibilities and impacts the eclipse could bring.

“Both the city of Waco’s Police Department and the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office have upped staff to their shifts to make sure they have adequate coverage,” said Dirker.

Emergency managements’ Ryan Dirker asks locals to have patience that whole weekend as traffic will be impacted.

“How much of an impact? We don’t really know, but we feel in public safety that it’s important that we plan as if it was going to be an issue,” he said.

Some tips for residents, make sure you get everything you need before the weekend of April 5th. That goes for groceries and gas. Dirker says purchase an extra of an item you may need, but you want to avoid doing any panic buying.

“So if you are worried about a run on grocery stores, which by the way, we are not expecting HEB Walmart other sorts of private sectors partners have been great partners in the planning process, it’s going to be crowded and some things may run out but that’s not a reason to panic buy,” Dirker said.

Dirker also stressed the importance of eye safety by making sure you have a pair of correctly rated solar eclipse glasses if you plan to watch.