Charleston, S.C.- The City of Charleston has all hands on deck preparing for the Solar Eclipse on August 21st. We are in the direct path and a large number of people are expected to flock to the Palmetto State.
The total eclipse will begin in Oregon and end in Charleston just before 3 P.M.
According to the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, many hotels are sold out and a large amount of people will come into town. Expect it to be busy on the roads and around town from Friday, August 18th to Monday, August 21st.
Over the last two months, city officials have met once a week to put a plan in place to ensure safety across the region.
Director of Emergency Management, Mark Wilbert, says the key message to the community is safety first.
“We’re meeting with the county, the sheriff’s office, EMT’s, colleges and universities, and all other entities within the City of Charleston.” Said Wilbert.
Driving and parking downtown will be difficult leading up to August 21st.
Public parking garages will be open to park, but it will not be open to view the total solar eclipse.
“And that’s strictly about safety.” said Wilbert.
The City of Charleston also encourages the public to go to a city park and neighborhood open spaces to see the daylight turn to night.
“We are looking at some our larger parks and adding additional services there.” Said Wilbert
Those services range from setting up food and water vendors and bathroom facilities.
Wilbert also reminds you to keep your eyes safe. Don’t just look up without the proper eye protection.
“Throughout the entire eclipse, they need to be wearing approved glasses to view the eclipse. This is not anything to full around with.” said the director of emergency management.
Solar eclipse glasses can be purchased online or at the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau downtown.
Charleston city officials are also planning to launch a website that will have everything you need to know for the 2017 Solar Eclipse.
In the meantime, you can find a lot of valuable information from the College of Charlestons’ “Great American Eclipse 2017” web page.