State Agencies Discuss Solar Eclipse Plans
State agencies are mapping out a plan to ensure you are safe during this historical event.
Columbia, S.C. (WOLO)– South Carolina will be the epicenter of the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21.
“We’re always prepared to deal with disasters and things like that throughout the state, but this is going to be a fun event,” MG Robert Livingston said, the S.C. Adjutant General.
While state departments like Highway Patrol, the Department of Natural Resources, and Department of Transportation are doing everything they can to prepare for the big event, they say they
need the public’s help to make sure everyone is safe.
“Don’t stop in the road. Alright, don’t stop in the road, don’t stop in shoulders, don’t stop in emergency lanes. Not only is it unlawful, but it’s also very, very dangerous,” Major Rob Woods said, with the S.C. Highway Patrol.
The Department of Transportation says there could be upwards of 1 million people coming to South Carolina. With the influx of visitors, they want people to expect traffic congestion and delays, and to make a plan to ensure they’ll get to where they want to go with plenty of time.
“All of our highway patrol troops will operate at maximum strength, and with supplemental personnel from headquarters troops and our state transport police,” Woods said.
Although the special, certified solar eclipse glasses are necessary to see the sun during the event, law enforcement said you should not wear them when you are behind the wheel of a vehicle.
“Don’t wear those eclipse glasses when you’re driving,” Woods said.
“And again, can’t emphasize this enough, do not wear these eclipse glasses when you’re driving,” Tom Johnson said, emergency management director for SCDOT.
If you’re planning on watching the eclipse from a boat, make sure you have enough life jackets on board for every single passenger. The DNR also says to turn on all the proper lights for those two and a half minutes.
“It’s going to be dark, just like 12 o’clock at night on Lake Murray. And you’re headed across the lake. You’re going to have your lights on. You should have your lights on that day,” Alvin Taylor said, S.C. DNR director said.
With all this in mind, it’s still August in South Carolina, and doctors want you to remember the basics when being outdoors.
“Think about the heat– stay hydrated. Protect your skin– use sun block. And absolutely protect your eyes and use special solar lenses,” Dr. Lillian Peake said, with the Department of Health and Environmental Control.