Another rural Nevada county is planning to play it safe in case it’s invaded next month.
Nye County signed a preemptive emergency declaration Wednesday, which will allow it to swiftly summon resources if things go haywire the weekend of Sept. 20-22, when outsiders plan to descend upon the tiny nearby town of Rachel.
“Alienstock,” a music festival planned by Matthew Roberts, who also launched viral Facebook event, “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” could bring tens of thousands of people to Lincoln County, where Rachel is located. Officials there went into overdrive this month to prep for the worst, and the county approved its emergency declaration Aug. 19.
Nye County officials are taking the incomers seriously too, both because the original “Storm Area 51” event was planned to take place within its borders, and because people likely will cross through the area en route to the festival.
“The concern is that we just don’t know,” Nye County spokesperson Arnold Knightly told the Daily News. “We just don’t know what’s going to happen, or who’s going to come through.”
About 44,000 people live in the sprawling county, and it’s home to the Alien 51 Travel Center in Amargosa Valley, a tourist stop dedicated to celebrating extraterrestrial mythology.
The county’s emergency declaration will allow it to snag state resources if the need arises, and it will also allow officials to declare a curfew, close down roads, shut down gas stations and recoup costs after the fact.
The declaration passed 4-0 in a vote by county commissioners.
Unlike Lincoln County, which issued a pair of permits for the weekend — one for “Alienstock” and one for an event at the Alien Research Center — Nye County hasn’t approved any permits, Knightly said.
Officials in both counties are bracing for the possibility that gas stations could run dry and wireless service could crash.
And the Air Force has warned that nobody should get too close to the base itself.
“The Nevada Test and Training Range is an area where the Air Force tests and trains combat aircraft,” Air Force spokesperson Laura McAndrews said in a statement to USA Today. “Any attempt to illegally access military installations or military training areas is dangerous.”
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