As Nebraska’s single largest tourism event draws to a close, Nebraska Emergency Management Agency officials are urging travelers to maintain patience and vigilance as they return home.
“As motorists return home, we urge them to continue to be patient as we deal with the massive volumes of motor traffic on our state highways and roads,” said Bryan Tuma, assiatant director of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency. “We’re encouraging these travelers, both those on the road and those still at their eclipse viewing sites, to remain vigilant and keep an eye on the weather as we continue to track two separate systems that may bring storms to western and northeastern Nebraska.”
As a part of the state’s emergency management efforts, Nebraska state agency representatives assembled at the State Emergency Operations Center today in Lincoln where they tracked a number of issues as tens of thousands of people viewed today’s total solar eclipse. The day’s efforts were the culmination of weeks of preparations that began weeks ago and involved both state and local officials. Tuma said that the pre-event planning had a major impact on today’s events.
“Overall, I think we did a good job of dealing with the issues that were identified in the pre-event planning sessions,” Tuma said. “As we expected, there was a tremendous amount of vehicular traffic on the roads today and I think the Department of Transportation and the Nebraska State Patrol did a really good job in managing the traffic and dealing with the problems as they occurred. Also, we had a good situational awareness of the weather that we were going to be dealing with today, so we didn’t have really any surprises.”
“Locally, I think that the work we put into planning this event really paid off in that we have heard of very few issues at the various viewing sites across Nebraska. The time and energy they put into this event on the front end had definite impact on how well things went today,” Tuma said, adding that officials expect travel to remain heavy this afternoon as people begin returning home. “Overall, everything really seems to be going well.”