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With a total solar eclipse approaching, Arkansas is ready for an estimated 1.5 million tourists



Little Rock, Arkansas – A total solar eclipse is predicted to occur in Arkansas on April 8, 2024, drawing an estimated 1.5 million visitors as a large portion of the state turns black.

For the complete eclipse in April, the Division of Tourism anticipates a fifty percent increase in the state’s population.

Emergency management predicts that traffic and overcrowded mobile phone towers will be the main obstacles and that command centers will be available throughout Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

“If you look at it from my point of view, from our world—you’re going to have an increase of 50 percent population in the state. So that means 50 percent more car wrecks, 50 percent more heart attacks, 50 percent more strokes, 50 percent more people getting lost,” said Sebastian County Emergency Manager Kendall Bean.

In 2017, many traveled to Arkansas to witness a partial solar eclipse. The eclipse in 2024 will have a length of almost twice as much as its width and route.

In certain areas of Arkansas, where the moon will totally obscure the sun, emergency management warns that this might put the greatest demand on local resources.

“Especially in the middle of the state where the four-minute mark’s going to be…because once you look at the maps for the state of Arkansas, you have national forests, two-lane highways—you don’t have a gas station on every corner,” Bean said.

“There’s a lot of great recreational activities to be had in this area, especially along the Mulberry River. The secret is out what hikers have known for many years: it’s beautiful. Be extra careful because there are some very high vantage points where something unfortunate could happen if you’re not careful,” Franklin County Emergency Manager Rick Covert said.

You can notify the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism if your community is planning a festival or other eclipse-related event, and they might list it on the Arkansas Eclipse webpage.



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