Whether you’re looking forward to the Great American Eclipse Monday and all that goes with it, or dreading the predictions of tens of thousands of tourists flooding Polk County, it’s here.

Parties in Dallas and Independence kick off this week, with celebrations extending throughout the county from Falls City to the outskirts of Monmouth and into the countryside.

As the big event nears, stories of doom and gloom continue to saturate every news source, from warnings that credit cards may not work, power may go down, internet may be overwhelmed — as may cell towers — fire danger is high, grocery stores may run out of food, gas stations out of fuel.

Hopefully by now you’ve taken steps to be prepared for the worst so you can sit back and enjoy it, hoping for the best.

Then there’s the new wrinkle with possible counterfeit eclipse viewing glasses. We’ve published many articles and a guest piece by Salem Health West Valley Dr. Steve Stice about the importance of eye safety during the eclipse, and hope you’ve taken heed and done your homework on the viewing glasses and filters you’ve purchased. If you have any doubt, we suggest using the pinhole projection method to enjoy the eclipse, saving your eyes altogether.

No one wants to see anyone permanently damage their eyes for this event.

We have a best guess from the National Weather Service about what the skies will show on Monday, but good meteorologists know that models aren’t exact. Keep an eye on the weather this weekend — and stay tuned to our website, polkio.com, where we will update that story as we know more on Saturday.

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