Sen. Ridley meets with Homeland Security Director to discuss coordination efforts for solar eclipse
March 8th, 2017
FRANKFORT – Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Dorsey Ridley, D-Henderson, recently met with Kentucky Homeland Security Executive Director John Holiday about preparations for the large crowd expected in western Kentucky for the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21. Ridley requested coordination between Holiday’s office and the cities and counties that will be impacted.
“A full solar eclipse is coming to western Kentucky and so are tens of thousands of visitors to observe it. It is important that we have the security measures in place to keep the astronomy viewers and our citizens safe,” Ridley said. “With a large number of people expected in our region on August 21, we need to make sure that we have adequate officers and first responders in place to handle this influx of visitors to our area.
“I appreciate John Holiday and his staff for working with our county and city officials in preparation for the event this August,” Ridley added. “I also want to thank our first responders for their ongoing preparation in getting ready for the anticipated crowds. By working with Homeland Security and making preparations early we can ensure our first responders have all the state support they need. Because of the professionalism of our local first responders and the state’s assistance, I feel confident that everything will go smoothly.”
The eclipse on August 21 will be the first total solar eclipse with a path across the United States since 1918 and Kentucky will be the prime spot to see it. The longest duration – two minutes and 40 seconds – to view the eclipse will be just south of Princeton. It will be visible for a portion of western Kentucky, including five of the six counties – Caldwell, Crittenden, Livingston, Union and Webster – that Ridley represents.
Ridley said that the solar eclipse will provide many economic opportunities for the surrounding area. “The people coming to Kentucky to view the eclipse will need a place to stay, places to eat and places to visit. This event will generate an influx of new money to our region. Data shows that this money – these tourism dollars – turn over seven times in the community. We hope our visitors will stay several days in our communities.”
The senator said that he will stay in contact with Director Holiday and his office as individuals across Kentucky continue to prepare for the event.