Washington County prepares for thousands of eclipse visitors

The small town of Weiser expects thousands of visitors for the Aug. 21 event.

WEISER, IDAHO - The city of Weiser is getting ready to host thousands of guests later this summer for one of the best views of the solar eclipse in North America.

Although there is a lot of excitement for the event, there are some concerns that Weiser could be pushed to the limit with so many people flooding into the small town.

This weekend Weiser is hosting hundreds of guests for the 2017 National Oldtime Fiddlers' Festival.

The scene at the city park is pretty calm for the event, but come August 21st this park will be center stage for the tens of thousands of guests that will be here to view the total solar eclipse.

Some here are excited for the big festival and eclipse, others are very worried that a city of about 5,500 won't be able to handle all the visitors.

To address concerns about public safety, financial damage, labor costs and cleanup, Washington County commissioners have passed an emergency declaration to free up extra funds.

Local officials say they are most concerned about the increased number of vehicles overwhelming roads, a lack of bathroom facilities, and the possible loss of communication abilities if cell phone networks are overwhelmed.

Patrick Nauman with the Weiser Eclipse Committee says the declaration helps ensure that everything goes as planned.

“We're going to incur a lot of additional expenses, and that's really what this disaster declaration is about, it's putting systems in place to be able to document expenses so the county won't have to foot the bill all by themselves," said Nauman.

Local police say they are working to get read for crowds of up to 30,000 people.

They ask that everyone be patient and use common sense when moving around town.

Of course, in an emergency they say always call 911.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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