Oregon Officials Say They're Ready For Eclipse
A million people may flock to Oregon over the coming week to view the total eclipse of the sun.
State officials said Tuesday that they're as prepared as they can possibly be for the event. Gov. Kate Brown has declared a state of emergency, but it's mostly to clear red tape so state and local agencies can work together to respond to any problems that arise.
The big wild card at this point appears to be the weather.
Tyree Wilde of the National Weather Service in Portland says no major weather systems are predicted to move into the state before Monday, but some areas could have patchy clouds.
"Right now it looks like central and eastern Oregon has the best chances of viewing the eclipse," he said.
"West of the Cascades, we have kind of a greater likelihood of some clouds moving through from time to time."
The possibility of lingering morning clouds along the coast has officials with the Oregon Department of Transportation concerned. Spokesman Tom Fuller has a warning for people who might try to hurry to a different viewing location based on cloud cover the day of the eclipse.
"The bottom line is, don't do it," said Fuller. "There's just no way, if there's cloud cover on the coast, you're going to make it back to the valley in time to see the eclipse."
Fuller says that even if people don't attempt a last-minute switch in viewing locations, heavy traffic will still clog roads.
"Getting around on the state highway system with a million extra visitors to the state is going to be problematic, at best," he said.
ODOT has issued warnings for people not to park along the side of the road during the eclipse. Bill Fugate of the Oregon State Police says officers will attempt to ticket, or in some cases tow, vehicles parked illegally on highway shoulders.
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