Total Solar Eclipse coverage
- Meet a solar eclipse baby born during totality in Chattanooga [video, photos]
- Thrillseekers take to Ocoee River for solar eclipse viewing
- Thousands of solar eclipse tourists flood Spring City, Tenn.
- Athens locals and tourists have 'lifetime experience' viewing eclipse
- Several babies born in Chattanooga during solar eclipse
- Greeson: Will Great American Eclipse lead to next great American moment?
- VIDEO: Time-lapse of sky darkening at Tennessee Aquarium during solar eclipse
- Wiedmer: Could watching the eclipse really cost Bama a national title?
- Solar eclipse lights up Chattanooga Bakery-made MoonPie sales
- VIDEO: NASA streaming the eclipse as it begins in Oregon
- Crowds gather for eclipse in Athens
- Traffic at a standstill on US-27 heading into Dayton [video]
- Chattanooga Bakery offers year's supply of Moonpies for best photo or tweet today
- Thousands to converge on Spring City, bracing for eclipse [photos]
- Eclipse watchers flocking to Tennessee sites
- Americans stake out prime viewing spots to see sun go dark
- Wiedmer: Eclipse an especially big deal in Hopkinsville, Ky.
- Off the Couch: Glasses on and ready for total solar eclipse
- Why is the eclipse longer in some places than in others?
- Solar eclipse viewers expected to put pressure on road systems
- How to stay healthy during the solar eclipse
- Clear skies expected for total solar eclipse
- The best way to see an eclipse is in the biggest crowd
- An eclipse chaser's guide to your first eclipse
- Experts offer advice for taking eclipse photos with your smartphone
- Eclipse times for Southeast Tennessee cities
- Eclipse gatherings around the region
- Easily-made 'pinhole projector' always an option to view solar eclipse
- Special eclipse glasses selling out quickly
- Here are 30 stellar locations for making memories during Monday's solar eclipse
- Bonnie Tyler to sing 'Total Eclipse' hit during eclipse
- More than spectacle: Eclipses create science and so can you
- Southeast Tennessee guide to the total solar eclipse [photos]
- Total Solar Eclipse expected to draw thousands to Tennessee
- 5 questions answered about the solar eclipse
- Celestial celebrations: Party planners getting ready for eclipse [photos]
- Hamilton County schools to close for total solar eclipse
- Here are 22 places in East Tennessee to watch the solar eclipse
- U.S. in rare bull's-eye for total solar eclipse on Aug. 21
- What's a total solar eclipse and why this one is so unusual
- Total solar eclipse 1st in 99 years to sweep width of US
- Solar eclipse mania spurs festivals, tours, sold-out hotels
With hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors staring up at the sky, Monday's eclipse is almost certain to cause headaches for local law enforcement and city officials bracing for huge influxes of people and traffic.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation estimates that anywhere from 300,000 to more than 1 million people will flood into the state for the event, putting pressure on the state's road systems, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol is encouraging drivers to be extra cautious.
"We would encourage all drivers to watch their following distances as they travel to their destinations due to the possible heavy volume of traffic," said Lt. John Harmon, a highway patrol spokesman.
"The [highway patrol's] goal is for everyone to enjoy the safe viewing of the eclipse and arrive alive."
He also discouraged drivers from stopping on the sides of interstates, saying it could be dangerous to the driver and others.
"The [highway patrol] wants everyone to know that stopping on the interstate system is prohibited, even in the emergency lane," he said. "The emergency lane is extremely important not to be blocked for the use of emergency vehicles if needed."
Finally, he said, motorists should continue to drive carefully after the event because the crowds who came to see likely will leave en masse as well.
"After the eclipse it is just as important to be very cautious also. It could be possible that many drivers quickly get back on our roadways with an influx of heavy traffic in a small amount of time," Harmon said.
A news release from the Hamilton County Office of Emergency Management also urged residents, businesses and visitors to plan for lengthy travel times.
"Start planning now for where you will go to view the eclipse in a safe location," the release stated. "Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination throughout the days ahead. Traffic may become heavy with large crowds driving in our area to view the eclipse."
Harmon said every trooper available will be working Monday to help keep Tennessee's roadways clear and flowing, but other law enforcement agencies have fewer hands on deck to deal with giant crowds.
Spring City, Tenn., will be at the epicenter of the eclipse, and city officials expect more than 9,000 people to flock to the town of fewer than 2,000 residents. Homeland Security and the Rhea County Sheriff's Office have stepped in to assist the city's nine-person police department with security.
"All of us together to have tried to map out a game plan," City Manager Stephania Motes said. "It's fun at the same time as it is hectic."
She said the expected crowds have presented sizable logistical problems.
"For one thing, where are we going to put them all?" Motes said. "We've got room for people, but we're just going to have to see how many people pack in."
Motes is confident the law enforcement agencies she is working with will be able to provide adequate security, but she acknowledged there are some measures they won't be able to take, even if they want to. For instance, they don't have enough manpower to conduct bag checks.
"Physically, we don't have enough resources to have someone at every place to do that," she said. "It's definitely challenging."
But still, Motes said she's excited, and residents have been planning for months to accommodate a horde of people Monday. She said Spring City will take advantage of it by throwing a festival in Veterans Park.
"We've got 2,000 people here in the city and thinking about 10,000. That's five times the number you already have," Motes said. "This is an audience we'll never have again. We want them to come back."
Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at email@example.com or 423-757-6731. Follow him on Twitter @emmettgienapp.