State officials prepare for solar eclipse

Posted at 4:04 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 21:14:10-04

More than a dozen state agencies will convene Monday on the Air National Guard Base in Lincoln to monitor the solar eclipse and prepare to act in the event of an emergency.

Several small cities in Nebraska sit in the eclipse’s path of totality, or where 100 percent of the sun will be blocked by the moon.

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency is hosting the central command area. Assistant director Bryan Tuma says emergency information from communities will come into the base in real time to be assessed by state officials.

"This is going to be ground zero for us on the day of the event," Tuma said. “Our operation center here will be staffed with representatives from these different agencies and we'll also have some stakeholder organizations, like the National Weather Service and the American Red Cross that will be here."

Traffic gridlock, a wildfire and severe weather are all scenarios that might call for help from state officials. Tuma says some have been preparing eclipse safety plans for years.

"We really want to emphasize on safety,” Tuma said. “Not only for our guests, but for our communities that are hosting these events statewide."

Officials cannot stress enough to be safe on the roads, use 511 for travel information and also be aware of your surroundings.