When the “Storm Area 51” Facebook event was created, it was intended as a joke. The event, which was created to “see them aliens,” immediately went viral with thousands upon thousands of people RSVPing. With September 19, the date of the event, rapidly approaching, it seems the state the base is housed in is concerned and declared a state of emergency.
Lincoln County, in Nevada has always had to deal with people flocking to their small town with the hopes of seeing a UFO. The town has capitalized off this with various stores selling alien survivors, but it has never seen such a large influx of people planning to come at one time, leaving many store owners concerned.
According to Vice News, the small county only has 184 hotel rooms, two gas stations, one grocery store and one hostpial. With that in mind, the county commission voted unanimously to declare a state of emergency for next month’s event.
Rachel, which is where the event is supposed to take place, is a small town located within Lincoln County with a population of 50 people. Many of its store owners are petrified that the large numbers predicted could come into their small town and dry up all their resources, leaving many residents without basic essentials.
In an effort to deter those planning to attend the event, Rachel issued a notice on their website that clarified the few resources they have.
“With the social media attention this event is getting, we want to clarify a few points for those not familiar with this area. Other than the Little A’Le’Inn, a small bar/restaurant/motel, there are no services in Rachel. There is no gas and no store.”
A Lincoln County commissioner, Kevin Phillips, echoed similar sentiments but noted there’s still a possibility that no one would actually show up.
“We passed this with the caveat that this may or may not happen,” he told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “We have no pickin’ idea what we’re going to face — if anything.”
With an estimated two million people planning to attend the event, it’s understandable for a small county such as Lincoln to be concerned.