The statements by local officials about the elclipse, need to be taken seriously

by Steve Dunford

I have always had the philosophy that if an error is made, err on the side of caution.

Here is the thing about the potential influx of people on Southern Illinois, we do not know what to expect.

I have started the process of being in contact with local officials and business to see what to expect here in Franklin County.

There have been some in conversations, and reading social media posts that say this is an eclipse not the apocalypse.  When Rick Linton, the Rend Lake Area Tourism Director issued the press release with how an estimated 25ok to a half million people could have on this area, raised the eyebrows of a lot of people.

I have read people say this is all media hype.  According to the weather, it could be more or it could be less that descend on little Egypt.

The two things that most releases I have read by officials, say that we as local people need to prepare like it is  a winter storm.  There have been comparisons that stores could be hit hard in a similar fashion like the May 8, 2009 storm.

I  was working at Walmart in Mt. Vernon then.  The shelves were bare on a lot of things.   In fact, my dad, who lives in Thompsonville,  was coming home from my nieces graduation from the University of Illinois.  He stopped in Effingham to stock up.  This was mid afternoon on May 9th.  The stores in Salem where hit hard from people from Franklin, Williamson and Jackson Counties.

A week from today, I would fill up my gas tank.  I would pick up some “bread and milk” like it is going to snow.  Cell and internet service might be spotty.  The back roads will need to be well traveled by us locals.

I am working on two stories as we speak.  One will discuss how retail establishments are gearing up.  The second will discuss how officials will handle the influx of people.

Here is my plan for the website.  The coverage will be similar to the April floods.  If you do not see the website updated, check the Facebook page.   When internet speeds are slow, it is easier to switch to Facebook only.  I learned this during the “Sectional Tournament” tornado event.

I appreciate the trust, you the reader, has placed in me.  I will do my best to keep all the county informed.  Other than sneaking outside to the parking lot of Calvary Baptist Church to watch it, I plan on spending the weekend at the keyboard.









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