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GCSO on eclipse: 'We're treating this with the same severity as a hurricane evacuation'

(Sydney Glenn/WPDE)

Monday marks the Great American Eclipse and parts of South Carolina are in the path of totality.

While we know what we can expect in the sky from the Total Solar Eclipse, what we will see on the ground is anyone's guess.

The Georgetown County Sheriff's Office will be treating Monday like they would a hurricane evacuation. That means all hands on deck and deputies stationed along entry and exit points and along Highway 17 to assist with traffic.

"We are preparing for crazy and hoping for normal," said Jason Lesley, the Public Information Officer for GCSO.

Historic traffic and major crowds are predicted, but no one knows for certain since our area hasn't experienced this in our lifetime, Lesley said.

Doug Eggiman, the Fire Chief for Midway Fire Rescue, said they know what to do to prepare ahead of a hurricane, flooding, big holiday weekend, but this is hard to know exactly what we will see. He said they will have extra staff Monday.

Related: Enter the Eclipse with ABC15 News

Traffic is a major concern, Lesley said. There is also a worry about how people who don't know about the eclipse will react to the potential traffic and crowds.

"The biggest hurdle that we're likely to face are people aren't really aware of the eclipse and they stop along the side of the road," Lesley said.

Lesley said since they don't know what crowds will be like in Georgetown County, it's important that they are prepared. The public safety is their number one priority.

"I think we take the worst case scenario and be prepared for it and then now matter what happens we will have plenty of officers," he said.

The Great American Eclipse will pass over our area Monday afternoon. For more information on the astronomical event, click here.


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