Get Ready to Enjoy the Total Solar Eclipse April 8!

OSWEGO COUNTY – Oswego County offers residents and visitors tips for having a safe and fun solar eclipse viewing experience on Monday, April 8. As the day approaches, people are reminded that the rare event will be viewable throughout all of Oswego County. It begins after 2 p.m., with totality just before 3:30 p.m., and concludes after 4:30 p.m.

Safe eyewear is of primary importance to avoid serious eye or vision injury. Regular sunglasses – no matter how dark – are not safe to view the eclipse. Only special purpose solar filters that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard allow people to safely look directly at the sun. Keep in mind that these special eclipse glasses should only be used for eclipse viewing and not while engaging in other activities such as driving.

A hand-held solar viewer or other indirect viewing methods are an option for those who don’t have special eclipse glasses. For details about safer solar filters and viewers, visit the American Astronomical Society’s eclipse website at https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters.

Those who want to record the event should note that devices such as cameras and video recorders – as well as binoculars and telescopes – require different types of solar filters and should not be used with eclipse glasses or hand-held viewers.

Oswego County officials are anticipating a large influx of visitors and increased traffic congestion on eclipse day, especially in areas where views of the sky are unobstructed. People are asked to be respectful of private property, and visitors are encouraged to come early and stay late to avoid peak drive times.

To prepare for crowds, residents and visitors are encouraged to:

  • Fill up gas tanks early to avoid long lines at the gas station.
  • Expect longer wait times at local businesses. Get groceries the weekend before to avoid crowded stores. Call ahead to verify business hours before going out on April 8, as they may change.
  • Reschedule appointments if possible. Traffic is estimated to be highest in the afternoon and into the evening, so try to avoid late day appointments.
  • Be ready for possible cell service issues due to the large number of people using phones, tablets and other devices. Have a phone charger and paper map with you and know where to find an accessible landline or WiFi signal.
  • Have cash on hand to avoid lines at ATM locations.

Those driving on eclipse day should be mindful of the period of totality, between 3:15 and 3:30 p.m., when the sky will become dark, similar to dusk or dawn. Be especially aware of pedestrians and look out for wildlife that may behave according to their normal nighttime schedules at that time.

A drop in temperature is also expected during the eclipse, so eclipse viewers should check the forecast and dress for the weather, bringing extra layers for comfort during the event. Don’t forget to pack drinking water and snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent and first-aid kits!

Oswego County school districts will either close or have a half-day for students on eclipse day. Parents should plan accordingly and drivers should anticipate that school buses will be on the road earlier than usual.

Seniors should also be aware of changes in Oswego County Office for the Aging (OFA) services on eclipse day due to the heavy traffic expected. City of Oswego residents who receive home delivered meals will not receive one on Monday, April 8. Instead, they will receive an extra meal with their usual delivery on Friday, April 5. All other home delivered meals around the county will be delivered one hour earlier than usual on April 8.

In addition, OFA congregate dining sites in Fulton, Phoenix and Parish will serve lunch at 11 a.m. instead of noon on April 8. Seniors are encouraged to depart meal sites by 1 p.m. at the latest to avoid traffic congestion. For details, contact the Office for the Aging at 315-349-3484.

Oswego County public transportation services will not operate on April 8 due to the expected high traffic. Centro buses will be running on eclipse day. To view a Centro bus schedule, go to https://www.oswegocounty.com/departments/mobility_management.

Pet owners should be mindful of the potential impact the eclipse may have on pets and wildlife, especially during the period of totality. Animals are sensitive to environmental changes and the moods or actions of their owners, so plan ahead for your pets, whether you are at home with them or not.

Around the county, a variety of events are planned to celebrate the solar eclipse. Many restaurants will also hold eclipse events or offer eclipse specials. For more information about eclipse events being held in Oswego County, visit the Oswego County Tourism Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/visitoswegocounty or the eclipse webpage at https://visitoswegocounty.com/eclipse/.

Many accommodations are offering special eclipse packages for overnight visitors. Some require a three-night minimum stay over the eclipse weekend, and people may have to call the hotel directly to make their reservation. To view a list of accommodations in Oswego County, go to https://visitoswegocounty.com/.

For more eclipse information, visit the Oswego County Tourism eclipse webpage at https://visitoswegocounty.com/eclipse/.

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