“We are planning for the worst but hoping for the best,” were comments made by both Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee and Emergency Management Director Eric Holt in advance of the Storm Area 51 events Sept. 19-22 at Rachel and Hiko.
For the most part what they got was the best. The huge crowds that had been anticipated didn’t materialize.
Lee said, “I thought it was handled really, really well. Things went smooth with law enforcement. People stayed calm. From what I thought it could turn out to be, it went really well.”
A published report noted law enforcement had seven arrests and three trespasses, all of which were very minor. Lee said there was “no significant private property damage that I was aware anyone had reported, no trespassing onto private property there, the traffic was not really bad. All in all, it went fairly well.”
There was one serious auto accident reported to the sheriff’s department. A man and woman were injured in a rollover Humvee crash in a dry lake bed north of Rachel Saturday morning. A 19-year old woman was airlifted to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George with an apparent head injury. There has been no further report on her condition. A 23-year old man in the same vehicle was airlifted to UMC in Las Vegas.
A person attending Alienstock noted that, with first responders so close by, the medical team arrived incredibly quickly. “If this would have happened when the festival was not going on, it would have been a disaster.”
Lee said there were a couple of cows hit in Tikaboo Valley, a rollover accident on 93 a little north of Alamo, but nothing of a serious nature.
There was another accident early Monday morning, but Lee didn’t have a completed report on that as of this writing.
Having the extra help in the area was, he said, “Of huge benefit.”
Just how much of a deterrent to rowdy activity the increased police presence had will be evaluated at future meetings of the board of county commissioners.