Emergency Operations Center closely watching Grand Prix
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More than 100,000 are expected to fill the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday for the U.S. Grand Prix, and just a few miles north, a group of experts will be monitoring nearly every aspect of the race.
The Austin Travis County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated for the first Formula 1 race in Austin. All major city and county emergency resources have been organized under one roof for the weekend.
"We have got a group of people that are working on traffic management,” Scott Swearengin with Austin/Travis County Office of Emergency Management said. “We are using our traffic cameras that we have from the city, from TxDOT. We actually have some helicopter video assets that we have to try to see where the snarls are and do our best to smooth any of the little bumps out in the road."
Just about everything that happens on off and around the track can be followed from the EOC.
To avoid a race day problem, the county passed an order prohibiting pedestrian traffic on county roads.
“We don't have sidewalks or anything else. It became a very safety issue to have pedestrians walking along what were county roads, now turned into a small urban area," emergency management coordinator Pete Baldwin said.
Halfway through the three-day weekend, crews said preparation has paid off with no major issues.