Casper Police Say Crowd is Very Peaceful
There are no hard numbers yet on the crowds in Natrona County for the eclipse, and at a press conference today, Eclipse Festival head Anna Wilcox said we may not know for sure until October.
But Detective John Hatcher of the Casper Police Department says it is obviously thousands. How many thousands, and how many more will come Monday he doesn’t know. But Hatcher said, “The crowd has been very well behaved, and the whole event has been a very happy one.”
He also said that despite the huge influx of people, police calls have been no more numerous than your average Saturday night.
“It has been a great learning experience for our younger officers walking and biking around the area,” Hatcher told K2 Radio News. “You can get pretty isolated driving around in those rolling cages we have, and a chance to interact, talk to the folks, help with directions and minor issues has been good for the officers this weekend.”
Jeff Goetz of WYDOT told us that traffic volume statewide has been 25-30% higher than normal, and a lot of it is from Colorado.
“It really hasn’t caused too much of a problem so far,” Goetz said. “But tomorrow should see a lot of last minute travelers, particularly from Colorado, just driving up to view the eclipse, and then heading home.”
Hatcher told us that normally, it’s against city ordinances to sleep in a vehicle in Casper, but at this point, given the shortage of rooms, they aren’t going to enforce that.
“We might rap on your window to make sure you’re OK,” he said, “ but it would be like sweeping back the ocean at this point. As long as everyone is safe and simply enjoying the event, we’ll leave well enough alone.”
And he says, so far, pretty much everyone has been.