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State opens Emergency Operations Center ahead of eclipse

State opens Emergency Operations Center ahead of eclipse

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Emergency Operations Center is open to help areas of Missouri that might see an influx of visitors for Monday's solar eclipse.

Thousands of tourists are expected to trickle into mid-Missouri throughout the weekend ahead of Monday's event. Hotels in Columbia and Jefferson City are nearly full every day until Monday.

The State Emergency Management Agency announced it would open the Emergency Operations Center on Friday, and keep it open until Tuesday. Director Ernie Rhodes told ABC 17 News the center would work as a connection between local emergency management agencies and state resources, such as the Highway Patrol.

Rhodes said he was most worried about increased traffic and the loss of cell service for areas that don't have the facilities to handle the extra people. 

"It'll be overloaded, but it's going to heal itself eventually," Rhodes said. "It's going to be, as population decreases, then it the system is still in place and it handles the normal daily load."


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