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Texas county issues disaster declaration for solar eclipse, expects 200K people

solar eclipse
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

A North Texas county issued a disaster declaration ahead of the April 8 solar eclipse, warning of traffic and potential gridlock as the celestial event ends.

Kaufman County Judge Jakie Allen issued the declaration Wednesday due to "projected and expected number of visitors," according to a news release from the county's Office of Emergency Management. County officials are expecting 200,000 people in attendance—nearly double its population—to view the total eclipse as Kaufman and Terrell are in the path of totality.

"The dramatic increase in population, even for a short time, will greatly impact our , taxing their ability to respond to calls," officials wrote in a release announcing the declaration.

For several months, , fire, emergency response agencies and many others had held meetings to prepare for the eclipse, with their greatest concern being traffic and gridlock. The declaration will last four days from April 5 until April 9.

Allen has also sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott requesting a state disaster declaration to make additional resources available if needed, officials wrote in the release.

Several other Texas counties have issued emergency declarations, including Bell, Kerr, and Travis. Kerrville, located in Kerr County, was selected by NASA as one of three U.S. cities to livestream the eclipse. Tens of thousands of people are expected to visit Hillsboro, a city that has dubbed itself "Eclipseboro" ahead of the event.

In the once-in-a-lifetime event, the moon will pass between the sun and Earth and plunging some cities in for a few minutes.

2024 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Citation: Texas county issues disaster declaration for solar eclipse, expects 200K people (2024, March 28) retrieved 20 April 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2024-03-texas-county-issues-disaster-declaration.html
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