Looks like the gimmement is taking this "Storm Area 51" thing seriously.
Area 51 events in Nevada prompt emergency crowd planning
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Fearing they could be overwhelmed with visitors,
officials in the remote Nevada county that's home to the Area 51 military
base have drafted an emergency declaration and a plan to team resources
with neighboring counties and the state ahead of events next month tied to
the "Storm Area 51" internet drive.
The elected board governing the county with about 5,200 residents
conditionally approved two events Monday for tiny desert towns near the
once top-secret U.S. Air Force test area known in popular lore as a site
for government studies of outer space aliens.
"Oh, we're taking this seriously," Lincoln County Commission Chairman
Varlin Higbee told the Las Vegas Review-Journal . "With the possibility of
35,000 to 40,000 people showing up, yeah, this is serious."
County officials are concerned that a surge of visitors will crowd
campsites, gas stations and public medical, internet and cellphone
services. Officials count just 184 hotel rooms in the county nearly twice
the size of the Connecticut.
"The cellphone system is going to go down," Higbee said. "You get more
than a couple of hundred people there, and it's going to crash. Cell
service won't be available."
The Little A'Le'Inn in the community of Rachel, population about 50, is
scheduling a three-day music festival Sept. 20-22 dubbed Alienstock. Hotel
co-owner Connie West has said she's expecting 10,000 people.
The Alien Research Center souvenir shop in Hiko, a town of about 120 a
45-minute drive from Rachel, plans a Sept. 20-21 exposition.
The events evolved from an internet post inviting people to run into the
remote test area in the Nevada desert that has long been the focus of UFO
County Sheriff Kerry Lee said Tuesday he was meeting with state emergency
County officials have also met with officials from the Las Vegas
Metropolitan Police Department in Clark County, the sheriffs of White Pine
and Nye counties, and the Nevada Highway Patrol.
Eric Holt, county emergency manager, asked commissioners to "pre-sign" the
Higbee, who has authority to invoke a declaration, said it would let
Lincoln County seek financial help and emergency personnel from the state.
"We don't know where or how far our resources are going to go," he said.
"A lot of it is equipment and financing. The county only has so much money
to deal with."
Higbee said visitors should not to try to enter Area 51.
"We don't want them going down to government property; it will probably be
blocked off," he said. "We don't want civilian people in contact with the
military at all. That will get ugly."
The conditional permits require festival and event organizers to submit
final plans to the Lincoln County Commission by Sept. 3.
"They have to have their security, medical, parking plans and few other
things (ready)," Higbee said.
--- Maximus/2 3.01
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