DeWine signs order to prepare for total eclipse



(The Center Square) – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine wants the state to be prepared April 8 when a total solar eclipse cuts a 124-mile-wide band across the state.

DeWine signed an executive order to direct all state departments and agencies to be ready and prepared for the event to ensure the health and safety of Ohioans and the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected for the event.

“The safety and well-being of Ohioans is always at the forefront of everything we do,” said DeWine. “We have been preparing for the April 8th solar eclipse for several years to ensure this once-in-a-lifetime event can be safe and memorable for all.”

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency is coordinating the state’s preparation and response to the eclipse, and state law enforcement agencies are preparing to help local agencies if needed.

The Ohio Department of Transportation plans to treat the event like a major travel holiday by restricting roadwork and reducing the size of active work zones. Some locations will continue roadwork as normal, including:

• I-75 through Cincinnati and Dayton.

• I-70/71 in downtown Columbus.

• I-70 in Zanesville.

• I-475 on the southwest side of Toledo.

• Several projects in the Akron metro area on I-76, I-77, and SR 8.

The state expects roads to be congested as travelers arrive at viewing locations but believes the worst issues will come when people leave.

Only 21 total solar eclipses have crossed the lower 48 states during the existence of the United States of America. The last total solar eclipse visible in Ohio was in 1806, and the next total solar eclipse will not pass through Ohio until 2099.

Cleveland is one of the largest cities inside the path of the total eclipse, along with Dayton, Toledo, Bowling Green and Akron. Cincinnati, Columbus, Canton and Youngstown are very close to the path.

The total lunar eclipse will begin at 3:08 p.m. and last until 3:19 p.m.

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