Video Tour

Preparations Continue as Darkest Day Nears

By Brian Goode. WAVE3 News
Posted: Aug 20, 2015 News, Weather

For the past three years, WAVE 3 News has been tracking one of the world's most spectacular celestial events that will happen right here in WAVE Country in 2017.

That is when a total solar eclipse is expected for a large part of the country with the most impressive part of that show taking place in Kentucky.

WAVE 3 Meteorologist Brian Goode has traveled each year since 2012 to Hopkinsville, Kentucky where it has been labeled "ground zero" for this event and had the chance to talk one on one with Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks.

“It is a unique opportunity and it's our great excuse to roll out the red carpet and be the best version of Hopkinsville we can possibly be,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks has only been in office less than a year, but already had his plate full as he prepares his community for the world's eyes to descend upon it in just two years.

“I have no doubt that we'll be ready by the weeks or two leading up to eclipse in 2017,” Hendricks said.

Aug. 21, 2017 is when the moon will pass directly in front of the sun, casting a shadow onto earth. It will start early in the day near Seattle and end near Charleston, South Carolina in the evening.  But there will be one spot where the greatest eclipse will take place, just outside of the city limits of Hopkinsville. 

Although, some astronomers now say a forest near Carbondale, Illinois will experience it for one tenth of a second longer.

“I know that there is some debate in that scientific community. The way we look at is, when we look at the calendar, we see 2 minutes 41 seconds. That is the longest point. We view that as the best point. Don't blame anyone else for having a different opinion. We are certainly preparing to be the best viewing location with the longer duration of that eclipse.” Hendricks responded.

One tenth of a second difference or not, the planning has begun and it will start days leading up to the eclipse itself.

“Entertainment. Chili Cook-off. All kinds of food and fun; very family friendly and we would end the nights with headline entertainment that would attract people just by itself,” Hendricks said. “Science has given us the best viewing location just north of Hopkinsville. It is up to us to promote properly so people wanna come and be here.”

I asked the Mayor if he was concerned about whether a thunderstorm could ruin the show that day.

“That is the one thing we can't control would be the weather! But here is the good news, of all the months that this thing could happen in, statistically speaking, what is the driest month of the year? August is.” Hendricks said.

Well, whether or not the “weather” cooperates isn't going to stop the planning as the clock continues to count down and emotions are ramping up.

“We are excited about it. At times anxious. Eager. Nervous. The good news is we have a great team,” Hendricks said.