State And Regional

Gov DeWine signs executive order ahead of total solar eclipse

COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed an executive order today directing state departments and agencies to be prepared for the total solar eclipse in April.

The executive order was signed to ‘assure Ohioans the state is well-prepared for the total solar eclipse’, according to a release.

“The safety and well-being of Ohioans is always at the forefront of everything we do,” DeWine said. “We have been preparing for the April 8th solar eclipse for several years to ensure this once-in-a-lifetime event can be safe and memorable for all.”

The order directs all state departments and agencies to be ready and prepared to ensure the health and safety of all Ohioans and visitors before, during, and after the eclipse.

There have only been 21 total solar eclipses that have crossed the lower 48 states during the existence of the U.S. The last visible total solar eclipse in Ohio was in 1806, and the next total solar eclipse will not pass through Ohio until the year 2099.

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The eclipse is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people to the state, this influx has prompted state agencies to work together.

People planning on traveling should arrive early and stay late to avoid the heaviest traffic.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will be assisting with traffic control before during and after the eclipse. The agency is treating the solar eclipse like a major holiday and will be restricting roadwork and reducing the size of work zones as much as possible to accommodate the extra traffic.

The locations where this is not possible are as follows:

  • I-75 through Cincinnati and Dayton
  • I-70/71 in downtown Columbus
  • I-70 in Zanesville
  • I-475 on the southwest side of Toledo
  • Several projects in the Akron metro area on I-76, I-77, and SR 8.

Roads are expected to be congested before the eclipse as travelers head to their viewing locations. The worst traffic congestion is expected to happen after the event as people head home.

OSHP Troopers will be highly visible to assist drivers in the days leading up to, during, and following the eclipse.

Stopping on the side of roads or exit ramps for non-emergencies is prohibited. Drivers are urged not to attempt to view the eclipse while driving.

The Ohio EMA urges travelers to make a preparedness kit for their vehicle and include items like snacks, drinks, cash, cell phone chargers, and blankets. They are also urging people to top off their fuel or fully charge their electric vehicles before heading out.

It’s also a good idea to have a family communication plan to ensure you know how to reconnect in case you get separated from friends or family at a large gathering.

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