Everyone from emergency crews to grocery stores prepare for eclipse

HOPKINSVILLE, KY (WSMV) -- History is about to happen, but officials aren't sure how many people are coming.

Christian County officials said there's just no history to study to know how many are coming to the Great American Solar Eclipse. They said the preparations underway are based on the best predictions they can get. It's not just emergency crews getting ready.

At Crofton Bestway, you know you'll always find the row of fried pies at the front. That's where Melody Overton greets you at the register.

"I say 'honey' and 'darling' a whole lot," she laughed before ringing up another customer. "It's just the way we talk."

Even in a place where everything is pretty familiar, Overton has no idea what next week will bring.

"We are stocking double milk, bread and eggs," she said. "We're fixing to prepare like it's a snowstorm coming or an ice storm."

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is telling Christian County to stock up on food and gas this week.

"Even in the '70s when we had the Bicentennial, there wasn't this much hoopla," Overton said.

"It's just been a massive planning effort," said Randy Graham, director of Christian County Emergency Management. "It's like a Super Bowl without a stadium. This is by far the largest event we've ever had in Christian County."

Graham said they're expecting 100,000 additional people on Monday. He believes that will be between 30,000 and 50,000 additional cars on the county's roads.

"If there's going to be as many people in Christian County as they're claiming they're going to be, you're not going to be able to drive down the road," Overton said.

Graham said 21 events have been planned throughout the county in an attempt to space out the crowds. He said travelers should bring water if they get stuck in traffic and additional ambulances and strike teams will be ready to go.

"If we start having an influx of heat-related illness, then we have additional assets to bring in," he said.

"Come early, stay put," Graham continued, noting many camping areas are filling up. "We think a lot of people will be trying to leave pretty quickly after the event is over, so that information for staying late is key."

"Restaurants, motels, everything's going to be cram-packed," Overton said. "It's quite an economic boom for the area."

Ready to come in early Monday, Overton said she's glad to spend the eclipse in a place where she won't have to get on the road for supplies.

"As long as it's on our shelves, we got it," she laughed.

© 2017 NBCNEWS.COM


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