Solar Eclipse 2017: What You Need To Know

Total eclipse of the sun behind the moon

Solar Eclipse 2017: What You Need To Know

What’s all the fuss about?

A solar eclipse will be visible across North America on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. Anyone within what is known as the “Path of Totality,” a swath stretching from the Oregon coast to the shores of the Atlantic in South Carolina, will have the opportunity to view a total solar eclipse.

The last time a total solar eclipse was visible in the continental United States was 1979, so there is understandably a great deal of excitement surrounding this event! In Oregon alone, an estimated 900,000 to 1,000,000 people are predicted to arrive in the state. Most will flock to the section of the “Path of Totality” that runs through Central and Eastern Oregon, seeking a place that will more than likely have a clear sky on Aug. 21. Cities in the path include Madras, Prineville, Mitchell, John Day, and Ontario.

Harney County sits just below the path, but will be host to an estimated 20,000 visitors headed north. That’s about three times the population of our county! An influx like that in a small community like this means that residents and visitors alike should be prepared so that the risk of problems arising is minimized and we can all enjoy this rare celestial event.

Check out these tips, and help spread the word in our community!


Tips for Residents

• Stock up before the crowds hit. Make a list, and get any supplies you need the week before, or earlier! Expect that stores may be running low on inventory.

  • Get your grocery shopping done about a week or two ahead of time. Not only will you beat the crowds, but this gives our stores time to restock!
  • Pick up your prescriptions and medical supplies early
  • Get cash (ATMs may run out!)

• Stay home and off the roads if possible!

• Make sure your motor vehicles have been serviced and are fueled up.

• Be aware that cell service and Wi-Fi may be slow or not working at all, and plan accordingly.

• Get doctor and dentist visits out of the way in the weeks before if possible

• Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle or just lying around. Use due diligence – be aware of your surroundings.

• Help to conserve energy by unplugging appliances you’re not using, and doing laundry, using dishwashers, etc., at low peak hours.

• Help to conserve water by not watering your lawn or using non-essential water during this weekend.


Tips for Travelers

• Stock up before you head out. Don’t expect to be able to pick up what you need at your destination – supplies will be limited and demand will be high.

  • Water (lots!)
  • Snacks/Food
  • All necessary medications
  • Cash (ATMs may run out!)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses/Eclipse Viewing Glasses
  • Hat/visor
  • Light jacket or sweatshirt (for cool nights)
  • Comfortable walking/hiking shoes
  • Folding chair

• Make sure your motor vehicles have been serviced and are fueled up.

• Cell service and Wi-Fi (both of which can be spotty during normal times in this area), may be slow or not working at all. Carry a physical map for navigation!

• Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle or just lying around. Use due diligence – be aware of your surroundings.

• Stay healthy! Drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and limit exposure from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. if possible. Wash hands with soap and water frequently. Keep foods chilled in insulated coolers, and cook to proper temperatures.


Local Contacts

In the case of an emergency, call 911.

Harney County Dispatch
541-573-6156, after 5 p.m. and weekends: 541-573-6028

Harney County Emergency Management

Harney County Health Department

Harney District Hospital

Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) – Harney County

Harney County Senior and Community Services Center

Harney County Chamber of Commerce

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