2017 Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, casting a shadow on the sun which fully or partially blocks the sun’s light in some areas.

During the afternoon of August 21, 2017, 21 counties in Western Kentucky will experience a full solar eclipse, with Hopkinsville, Kentucky as the epicenter for the national event.
State and local agencies are preparing for a massive influx of visitors seeking to view the Total Solar Eclipse.  While the eclipse will include 14 states across the nation’s midsection, the area for experiencing the longest duration of the total eclipse extends from near Carbondale, IL to Hopkinsville, KY.

Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) has assumed the lead for this event and has begun coordinating the planning efforts of state and local officials. KYEM hosted an eclipse planning workshop at Kentucky Dam Village State Park on March 29.  KYEM Director Michael Dossett welcomed Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton and more than 200 attendees representing local, state, and federal governments, as well as the private sector.  Officials from 21 counties and key stakeholders shared and discussed their planning activities and event preparations to ensure a safe environment for viewing visitors and local citizens.

A second eclipse workshop at Kentucky Dam Village State Park is scheduled for July 12, during which FEMA will facilitate an eclipse tabletop  designed to challenge officials and enhance planning efforts.  KYEM also hosted eclipse planning webinars on April 25 and May 2, and another is scheduled for June 27. 

KYEM will establish a Regional Emergency Command Center in Hopkinsville prior to and during the event to offer local county governments with expedited assistance, if needed.

Local and state officials are asking visitors who plan to visit total eclipse sites in Kentucky and local citizens to plan accordingly and take appropriate safety precautions while viewing the eclipse.

Viewers in the Commonwealth total eclipse zone will experience 2:40.1 minutes of total eclipse.

State officials provide the following recommendations for eclipse watchers:

  • Pick a specific place to watch the eclipse. Those stopping along a highway right of way may be issued a citation for impeding traffic.
  • Restroom facilities will be scarce.  Pick a viewing location with appropriate facilities.
  • Bring appropriate amounts of food and water.
  • Have a specific place to stay; either a hotel room or appropriate campsite.
  • Be prepared for traffic. Thousands of visitors may create traffic gridlock at some critical intersections and interchanges, particularly along the I-24 Corridor and KY 91 Corridor.
  • Know the proper and safe procedures to follow for safe observation of the solar eclipse.