Charleston City leaders creating plan ahead of August's solar eclipse

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The City of Charleston is working with local law enforcement, fire, EMS and the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to put together a plan for next month's solar eclipse event.

There have been weekly meetings for several weeks now addressing ways of keeping people safe during that time frame, said city spokesman Jack O'Toole.

"Probably one of the biggest concerns, we're talking to officials about is dehydration," said CVB board Chairwoman Linn Lesesne. "As we know it's already really hot and what we don't want is people to get to a great spot where they're out in the sun and not prepared."

"[People need to be aware of] sun exposure," said Kristen Perrella, of New York. "I know we both got burned at the beach while we were here. So making sure you wear a lot of sunscreen."

Officials say areas all around the greater Charleston area will be packed. Many people may utilize rooftops, while some may opt for a view on our waterways.

"I think our harbor is going to be filled with a lot of boats, because what a great place to watch, like the beach, unobstructed views," Lesesne said.

Lesesne adds more than 1 million people are expected to travel to South Carolina to see the eclipse as it travels through our state.

For those heading to Charleston, it may be a bit tough trying to find a place to stay.

"I would tell you there's probably not a room to be had on the peninsula during the eclipse," Lesesne said. "It's just such an exciting phenomenon."

According to the CVB, most hotels created packages for when eclipse-goers booked their rooms.

At Wentworth Mansion, that package included a five-course dinner, stargazing session with a local astronomer, and other Charleston attractions like sailing.

Lesesne said many of the other hotels downtown sold out of their packages in no time.

"I think the impact is going to be greater than typically any other August," she added.

"I think a lot of people will come," said Christine Usyk, of New York. "I know some of my friends are traveling to Tennessee to see it."

In Charleston we're expected to see the totality of the eclipse at 2:46 p.m. on August 21.

Officials urge you to pick up one of the eclipse sunglasses which several area businesses, including the CVB will be selling for the major event.

Doctors say looking directly at the eclipse could do major harm to your eyes.

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