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Don’t let the solar eclipse catch you off guard

April 8 will bring us all an opportunity to view a total solar eclipse, the last eclipse occurred Aug. 23, 2023. This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for many people. Milam County will see a partial eclipse here, but just a little to the west of us, folks will be able to see a total eclipse. As a result, people from all over the world will be rolling through our area to get to the best viewing sites. 

There isn’t a vacant hotel room along the path of the eclipse viewing area for 100 miles in either direction during the weekend before or the days following the eclipse. Hotel rooms being filled is but one of the issues we need to be aware of. As a result of the increase in people to the area and the potential of incidents during the event, the Milam County Commissioners’ Court will be issuing a Disaster Declaration due to the Eclipse Event, that will make it easier to receive state and federal aid during the event. 

As a resident of the affected area surrounding the eclipse event and based on lessons learned from other areas that have been witness to these events, there are several things that Milam County residents need to be vigilant about. Those events are mainly driven by a significant population spike over the week of the event. This increase can add significant stress to our local resources and infrastructure for the time period from April 5 to April 11. With that significant spike in population, several things need to be addressed prior to the event.

Here are some tips to help prepare for our Milam County folks out during this time. These come from lessons learned from previous eclipses events.

- Stay Home and avoid driving if you can.

- Expect travel delays and be prepared to take alternative routes.

- Fuel up before the event on or before April 5.

- Purchase groceries and supplies in advance.

- Refill prescriptions in advance.

- Be prepared for cellular reception to be intermittent or interrupted, especially on the 8th.

Eclipse Viewing Tips:

- ALWAYS use safe solar viewing glasses (Eclipse Glasses), a safe handheld solar viewer, or indirect methods during the partial phases of the eclipse.

- DO NOT look at the Sun through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while wearing eclipse glasses or using a handheld solar viewer. 

Solar eclipses are a phenomenon that should be enjoyed by all as they are rare events and there are accounts in history of eclipses being seen as omen and have at times changed the course of world history when seen as such. Solar eclipses have also been used to more accurately date historical events by describing the eclipses that happened during those certain historical events. 

But in 2024, there will be two total eclipses, but only one will be visible from land and that happens next month right here in Central Texas. And whether you are interested or not, Milam County will be affected to some degree. So, we need to make the necessary arrangements to make sure that regardless of the activity level here, we will all be prepared. Please make sure you are ready to go and check with your family and friends. I would hate for anyone to be caught off guard come April 8. Hopefully there won’t be any issues, but better safe than sorry.

Now, where did I put my solar glasses?

The Cameron Herald

The Cameron Herald
P.O. Box 1230
Cameron, Texas 76520

Phone: 254-697-6671
Fax: 254-697-4902