In rural Kentucky, solar eclipse preparation keeps town busy

Total Solar Eclipse map (NASA)

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) – The first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the U.S. in 99 years has heightened anticipation and excitement in small, rural towns of southwestern Kentucky.

With 32,000 people, Hopkinsville is nearest the point of greatest eclipse. At 1:24 p.m. Aug. 21, the moon will pass in front of the sun and cast darkness over the rolling farmland, plunging it into darkness for 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

Tens of thousands will watch the eclipse from Hopkinsville – estimates reach 100,000 people from as far as Japan and South Africa.

One shop owner says she’ll camp at work instead of risking traffic, though the city requested National Guard help on roads. The airport is being upgraded. The mayor says Hopkinsville residents are ready and excited to host eclipse-chasers from around the world.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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