The Transylvania Times -

Officials: Eclipse Day Went Fairly Smoothly


August 24, 2017

While the clouds may have moved in for some folks during the solar eclipse on Monday, people funneled in and out of Transylvania County smoothly, with just one incident reported.

N.C. Highway Patrol reported one accident on N.C. 215, and no one was seriously injured. Seventeen troopers were assigned to Transylvania County for the event.

First Sgt. J.K. Ledford said that Highway Patrol assisted Brevard Police as they helped move traffic through town. Some of the major intersections were blocked off Monday evening, like U.S. 276, so that law enforcement could move traffic through town as quickly as possible.

“We would like to thank all the local agencies and first responders who assisted in this event. With unexpected traffic volume in the area, I thought that everybody pulled together and did a great job working together,” Ledford said. “As far as I am concerned, it was a success. I know we had some traffic back up and it may have frustrated some people, but I thought it went well.”

Eddie Gunter, with the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office, said that Monday was uneventful for the most part, but that the east-bound traffic reminded him of the traffic leaving the Charlotte Motor Speedway after a race.

Traffic could be seen moving slowly after the event back toward the I-26 interchange, with steady bumper to bumper traffic from Lake Toxaway all the way through Mills River late into the evening.

The Brevard/Transylvania Chamber of Commerce reported a conservative estimate of about 15,000 – 20,000 visitors in the county that day.

About 5,000 people were estimated to have attended the event at Gorges State Park (although some news reports had put the figure at 10,000), 1,500 people at Oskar Blues brewery, 1,000 people at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, 1,000 at the Lake Toxaway Estates, 500 at Brevard Music Center and another 150 at the Key Falls Inn.

Chamber President Clark Lovelace said that these numbers don’t include the locals who had family or friends to stay with them.

“Our hotel/motel/inn accommodations are fixed (roughly 400), short-term rentals are relatively fixed (roughly 500 as best we can tell), but even if only 10 percent of our residents had company (3,300 times two or more visitors) the impact is powerful,” he said in an email response

The chamber estimated that 3,000 people were in downtown Brevard that day.


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