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A BRIEF END OF THE WORLD

There’s a good reason authorities are treating the upcoming solar eclipse like a natural disaster

@merebauer

PORT A POTTY shortages. Cellular blackout zones. Ambulances stuck in gridlock. These are the conditions emergency managers across the nation are expecting the week of August 21.

No, a major hurricane isn’t forecast. This isn’t preparation for a cyberattack after someone tipped the FBI. Beyoncé isn’t doing a national tour—but the cause is a star of another kind.

The upcoming solar eclipse—the first in 99 years to sweep across the continental United States— has so many fans that disaster-level preparations are being put in place because of the large number of travelers predicted to jockey for prime viewing spots. As many as 7.4 million people are expected to pack into a 70-mile-wide band across the U.S.to watch the moon’s umbra block out the sun for a two-minute window on August 21, according to solar eclipse education website GreatAmerican Eclipse.com. The path of totality, the area where the sun is completely blocked out, stretches from Oregon to South Carolina.

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