Eclipse 2017: What will you do when the sky goes dark?

As Kentucky prepares for the total solar eclipse, we ask people what they'll do when the sky goes dark in the middle of the day.

We're two weeks from a moment people will talk about for a lifetime. The total solar eclipse is bound to create a shared moment in time, unlike anything most have ever experienced before or will ever experience again. Whether you're at the center of it all in Hopkinsville or anywhere else with a near total eclipse on August 21st, where you are and what you're up to is something you'll be talking about on August 22nd and beyond.
"I work at the school system, and we're off that day, so you know we're going to be out looking”, said Hopkinsville resident Judy Pool.

RELATED: Cloud cover for the Great American Eclipse on August 21st

“Hop-town”, known these days as "Eclipseville", is closing schools and rolling out the welcome wagon for, potentially, hundreds of thousands of guests.

Miranda Mertz is the general manager of the legendary burger joint Ferrell's. She intends to be working but will at least look out the window during the 2 minutes and 40.1 seconds of the total eclipse that places the western Kentucky town as having the most time in the dark as any place on the planet.

But others are not taking a chance at missing something by being indoors for the big moment. State Senator Whitney Westerfield has his spot picked out and is following the advice of an eclipse expert who suggested setting that people leave the photography to someone else or set up their camera, let it run on its own and just taking everything in.

“People describe it as something of a religious experience”, said Sen. Westerfield, “and I've never seen a total solar eclipse so I will have my camera going, I've bought a filter for it, my video camera. So, I'm just going to point it at the sun and let it go and enjoy it.”

Local business owner, Jim Creighton plans on spending the time with family.

"I'm going to be in the back yard with my kids and grandkids with my glasses on and my camera looking at people taking pictures of the eclipse, if it will work, watching things and enjoying the only solar eclipse I'll ever see", said Creighton.

Getting an answer to that question became a bit more tricky in Frankfort where, far from the center of the eclipse path, they're preparing for all of the "what ifs" that come with any major event.

Only WHAS11 was in on meetings as some of the top state officials worked on logistics.

Getting them to answer while setting aside their "official" take took asking the big question a few different ways.
Director Michael Dossett of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management said, “I'm going to have my eclipse glasses and put them on because you need to put them on 15 minutes before and leave them on until 15 minutes after.”

When pushed as to whether he’ll take in the moment, Dossett said, “I will and I guarantee you all of my staff will pause and enjoy the fruits of their labor and then we'll go about doing our jobs.”

He and other officials insist that, while they've done their homework and readied their strategies, they will take the time to enjoy it like everyone they're serving by preparing for the big day.

"What am I going to do”, asked Dr. Noelle Hunter, Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. “I'm going to be there with my glasses on and looking up at it like everyone else.”

She added, “It will probably be a deeply moving experience for me, honestly, to just see something like that and to just behold the wonders of the galaxy. I don't know how I'll act but I imagine it will be a moment of awe for many of our fellow Kentuckians."

Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton has spearheaded this effort on a state level and will be in Christian County when the sky goes dark. She plans to be in position with her eclipse glasses at the ready.

Lt. Gov. Hampton answered the question with a laugh, “I'm just going to be quiet. I'm going to be the quiet nerdy type, just enjoying this once in a lifetime event."

MORE ECLIPSE NEWS:

• Interactive maps shows the length of the eclipse in your location

• Solar eclipse by zip code: Find out if you live in the path

• Animals and the solar eclipse: How are they affected?

Eclipse glasses 101

• Experts offer warnings as fake eclipse glasses flood the market

• 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' is a sensation again, 34 years later, thanks to solar event

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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