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Statewide Emergency Declared in Indiana Ahead of Total Solar Eclipse

People are being advised to ‘stay home’ on April 8th.



This article originally appeared on The Epoch Times and was republished with permission.

Guest post by Jack Phillips

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a statewide emergency due to a large influx of visitors to his state to view the total solar eclipse on April 8.

The Republican official said that the number of visitors to Indiana may strain the state’s communications, transportation, and emergency response systems, warranting the need for the declaration. Indiana includes some of the best locations in the United States to see the eclipse, according to a map of the path of totality.

“The massive number of people viewing this event in our state may well stress and/or interfere with first responder and public safety communications and emergency response systems such that a technological or other emergency may occur,” Mr. Holcomb said in a statement last week, adding that the declaration was issued as a precaution to bring in emergency resources from other states.

His order noted that the eclipse “will pass directly over the state of Indiana, giving everyone in our state an incredible view of this extremely rare event.” The order stated that the last time a total solar eclipse passed over the state was in 1869. After the event on April 8, the next one is not expected to occur for about another 75 years.

“It is of primary importance to the state of Indiana to be prepared to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public during this event and to be prepared to swiftly and effectively respond to any emergency that may arise,” the order continued.

The state’s capital and largest city, Indianapolis, is located in the eclipse’s path of totality, local media reported.

Officials in other U.S. states have issued advisories or warnings ahead of the astronomical event. Authorities in Ohio’s Summit County, for example, advised residents to “stay home” due to traffic congestion by an expected influx of viewers, while officials from the Illinois Department of Transportation warned that crowd sizes could be massive in some areas.

“Crowds of 100,000 to 200,000 are expected to come to the prime viewing area in southern Illinois,” the Illinois agency said. “All roads in and out of the area are expected to have heavy congestion in the couple hours after the eclipse.”

Texas Emergencies

Multiple counties in Texas declared emergencies due to the upcoming April 8 total solar eclipse due to potentially heavy traffic and gridlock.

On Monday, the Bosque County Office of Emergency Management declared a state of emergency due to heavy traffic and will authorize the county to take “any actions necessary to promote life, safety and critical infrastructure protection.”

Niagara Falls

Meanwhile, last week, a state of emergency was declared in the Canadian Niagara Falls region, adjacent to the city of Niagara Falls in New York state, due to traffic and crowd sizes.

Read the full story in The Epoch Times.