SC emergency officials issue warnings for residents, visitors ah - FOX Carolina 21

ECLIPSE

SC emergency officials issue warnings for residents, visitors ahead of total eclipse

Posted: Updated:
Eclipse totality path (file/FOX Carolina) Eclipse totality path (file/FOX Carolina)
Children view eclipse with filtered glasses (Source: Associated Press) Children view eclipse with filtered glasses (Source: Associated Press)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

South Carolina is one of 14 states in the path of totality for August's total solar eclipse and the rare event is expected to draw more than one million visitors to the area.

The eclipse on Aug. 21 will start in the northwestern part of the U.S. and travel southeast, casting the Upstate into darkness around 2:40 p.m. Between traffic, crowds and sun risks, authorities want to make sure communities are prepared for the event.

FOX Carolina will be ready to bring you the latest breaking news before and during the eclipse. Click here to download the FOX Carolina News app to stay up-to-date on the latest news, weather and traffic.

TRAFFIC SAFETY

The South Carolina Emergency Management Department said residents should expect heavy traffic and extremely busy areas across the state.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol advised work commuters to plan alternate routes to work on the day of the eclipse and leave early to allow extra commute time.

Troopers said drivers should make sure they have a full tank of gas before leaving for their destinations. SCEMD recommended residents fill up their tanks and buy groceries before the weekend leading into the eclipse.

For drivers on the road during the totality of the eclipse, SCEMD said to keep moving and do not stop the vehicle. Highway Patrol warned people to be aware of disoriented or distracted drivers on the roadway.

After the eclipse, emergency officials suggested staying at the viewing location until "well after" the eclipse is over.

A spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of transportation said all construction lane closures will be suspended from Aug. 19 to 22. Digital signs will also be put in place beginning Aug. 18 to warn drivers of heavy traffic.

The State Highway Emergency Program will start having extended hours the weekend before the eclipse and will be servicing Interstate 26 during the event.

WATCH: Troopers prepare for Total Solar Eclipse travel in Carolinas

HEAVY CROWDS

With the number of guests flooding into the state for the eclipse, SCEMD said businesses should brace themselves for a surge of customers, staffing accordingly. Grocery stores, gas stations, hotels, restaurants, transportation services and urgent care clinics are among the facilities that are expected to see a jump in business.

The large number of people in South Carolina is expected to overload cell services, causing possible disruptions to networks.

Visitors to the state are encouraged to familiarize themselves with state emergency plans in the event of a hurricane, earthquake or severe weather during the days before or after the eclipse.

READ MORE: SC Emergency Management officers urge visitors, residents, to have solar eclipse safety plan

SUN AND HEAT RISKS

Emergency officials are warning eclipse viewers to be prepared for extreme heat during the eclipse weekend. Visitors and residents spending time outdoors are encouraged to carry bottled water, sunscreen, medications and a first aid kit.

Troopers said 911 should be reserved for life-saving emergencies only.

Spectators of the solar events also need to be equipped with protective eyewear such as eclipse viewing glasses. Sunglasses DO NOT provide the correct protection for watching the eclipse.

The Greenville Health System's Eye Institute in Spartanburg said there are three specific indicators viewers should look for on their protective eyewear to make sure it is appropriate for the eclipse:

  • The International Organization for Standardization or "ISO"
  • The European Commissions’ mark of approval or "CE"
  • These numbers: 12312-2

READ MORE: Are your eclipse glasses safe? Here's how to check

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