SUNBURY — It’s an event of astronomical proportions: A total solar eclipse is expected to appear in North America on April 8. Two months out from the event, there’s getting to be quite the buzz, even in places some might not expect.
For example, the eclipse was a topic of conversation at Tuesday night’s Kingston Connections sub-committee meeting in Kingston Township. The eclipse was also mentioned in Kingston’s fourth quarter newsletter last year.
“Expect heavy cell phone usage in the area on that day and don’t use your phone to view the eclipse as the radiation can damage the phone,” was among the tips in the newsletter.
The Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DCOHSEM) has been issuing a 2024 Solar Eclipse Planning Bulletin the last couple months.
“State planners anticipate that those traveling to and through Delaware County could double the county’s population on the day of the eclipse,” said the December bulletin. “Delaware County and the State of Ohio are encouraging people to come early and stay late, as there will likely be heavy traffic on the day of the event.”
Anticipating the traffic, some central Ohio school districts, such as Big Walnut, have already canceled classes on April 8, a Monday. “With my luck, it’ll just be a cloudy day,” Superintendent Ryan McLane joked following the cancellation announcement at the January Big Walnut Board of Education meeting.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is expecting its parks to be packed, including Alum Creek and Delaware state parks. “Ohio State Parks open at 6 a.m.,” said the ODNR’s solar eclipse page. “Stay late after the eclipse to avoid traffic jams.”
The local website Destination Delaware County Ohio has a list of “Public Outdoor Viewing Locations.” For more information, see www.visitdelohio.com/eclipse/.
The eclipse may be seen in its totality in a 124-mile swath in Ohio, DCOHSEM and the county have said. Maps have shown this includes Delaware County. The next such event in Ohio will be in 2099.
“The total solar eclipse visits Ohio on April 8, 2024, beginning at 3:08 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time with the final exit of the Moon’s shadow from the state at 3:19 p.m. EDT,” said the Ohio Emergency Management Agency’s website. “Cleveland will experience totality between 3:13 and 3:17 p.m. EDT.”
The National Weather Service said Findlay “will experience totality between 3:10-3:14 p.m. EDT.”
Assistant Editor Gary Budzak photographs and reports on stories in eastern Delaware County and surrounding areas.