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Hochul Outlines NY’s Final Eclipse Plans


Governor Kathy Hochul on Sunday updated New Yorkers on the state’s preparations to ensure everyone can have a safe and memorable total solar eclipse viewing experience today.

In preparation for a high volume of traffic and visitors, Governor Hochul is advising travelers to arrive to their destinations early and plan on staying late, allow for extra travel time, monitor the weather forecast before getting on the road, and pack plenty of water and snacks for the trip. Additionally, drivers should never pull over on the side of the road to view the eclipse to ensure first responders can get by in an emergency.

This afternoon, a total eclipse will encompass 29 counties in the western and northern parts of New York State. For other areas of the state that are outside the path of totality, there will still be 88 percent to over 99 percent coverage. The next total solar eclipse that will be visible from the contiguous U.S. will not be until August 2044.

In preparation for the eclipse, Governor Hochul hosted a virtual conversation this week with NASA Astronaut and Syracuse native Dr. Jeanette Epps, who is currently aboard the International Space Station. The Governor asked Dr. Epps several questions submitted by New York students about the upcoming eclipse and space exploration.

In October 2022, Governor Hochul convened an Interagency Task Force comprised of nearly two dozen state agencies and authorities to prepare for this event. The Task Force has been collaborating for the past 18 months on plans to ensure everyone can safely enjoy the eclipse. Governor Hochul has been working with her administration to ensure everyone can safely enjoy this once-in-a-generation event by:

  • Directing the New York State Police, Department of Transportation (DOT) and Thruway Authority to prepare for a high volume of traffic. The Governor is urging travelers to be patient, be prepared for backups, and always obey traffic rules.
  • Activating state agencies to prepare for weather related emergencies and urging travelers to monitor the forecast, especially in the Adirondacks after this week’s storm.
  • Ensuring New Yorkers know where to find the proper eye protection. During the eclipse, looking directly at the sun without specialized eye protection can result in serious injury. More information and resources available here.
  • Working with agencies and local authorities to ensure communities have the tools they need to manage an influx of visitors.
  • Warning New Yorkers to protect themselves against potential scams, fake merchandise, and phony accommodation listings.

New York State’s Eclipse Experience Preparations

Interagency Task Force

For the last 18 months, an interagency task force comprised of nearly two dozen state agencies and authorities, has been collaborating on plans to ensure a safe and memorable viewing experience for New York State’s residents and visitors. It is focused on building awareness of the State as a prime location to experience the eclipse by gathering important safety and preparedness information, amplifying and supporting region-specific viewing activities, and maintaining regular communication with local governments and municipalities, especially those within the path of totality.

New York’s public safety efforts align with the State’s normal jurisdictional role over state parks and State roads and support to local governments in their planning and decision making in accordance with their own codes, laws and needs as this exciting event approaches. Public safety challenges for such an event include traffic management, communications capabilities and public health and safety. State, county and local public safety and emergency management efforts have been and will continue to be tailored to the anticipated needs from an influx of those who come to view the eclipse from both inside and outside the state.

Traffic Preparations

Governor Hochul has directed State Police, DOT, and Thruway to prepare for a high volume of traffic the weekend leading up to the eclipse and through April 9. Vehicles are not allowed to park on the shoulder of the highway to view the eclipse. DOT and Thruway will have increased staffing and patrols for maintenance and traffic crews. Additionally, construction and temporary lane closures will be suspended to allow traffic to flow.  

Weather Conditions

Earlier this week, Governor Hochul provided updated viewing location information for the total solar eclipse and offered additional resources as unsafe winter conditions are expected in the Adirondack backcountry after this week’s storm. Temperatures are forecast to rise back into the 50s, just in time for Monday’s total solar eclipse. Warmer temperatures will create even more hazardous conditions with rapidly melting snow, ice, and possible avalanche danger in the Adirondacks. Travelers are encouraged to stay informed throughout the duration of their trip as the weather forecast is subject to change. More information about agency preparations is available here

Eye Protection

During the eclipse, it is especially unsafe to look directly at the sun without specialized eye protection and can result in serious injury. The partial phases of the solar eclipse can only be safely observed directly with specialized eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer ­– regular sunglasses are not a safe replacement. On March 18, Governor Hochul launched a statewide effort to distribute limited-edition I LOVE NY eclipse glasses at 30 locations throughout the state.

Eclipse Events

Governor Hochul announced earlier in March that on April 8, numerous eclipse-viewing gatherings are scheduled at many New York State parks and historic sites. Register for the events and activities through the OPRHP event calendar and the eclipse website. The Governor also announced that through April 8, 2024, scientists, subject matter experts and astronauts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will be providing programming and exhibits at Niagara Falls State Park as well as throughout the city. Full list of events found here will be free and open to the public.

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