March 27, 2024

Total Solar Eclipse: Be Aware & Be Prepared

News Photo

County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. is urging residents and visitors to take the necessary safety precautions and to expect traffic delays and communication services to be impacted during the total solar eclipse that will take place on April 8th.

“The upcoming total solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime event that many are looking forward to and the impact of which will be felt throughout Oneida County in some unexpected ways,” Picente said. “The influx of eclipse watchers will cause traffic delays, lags in cellular service and potentially impede emergency response. It is important to take the proper precautions when viewing the eclipse including wearing appropriate eyewear, watching the event from safe locations and having the necessary supplies should your vehicle become stranded. By being aware and prepared on April 8th we can make this a successful experience for all.”

The northern section of Oneida County will be in the path of the total solar eclipse from 2:07 p.m. to 4:33 p.m., with totality starting about 3:21 p.m. Totality is expected to last about 1 minute and 24 seconds. During that time, it will appear to be dark even if it is cloudy, the temperature could fall by as much as 10 degrees and animals and plants may behave as if it’s nighttime.

Those viewing the event should not look directly at the sun without the proper eyewear. Permanent eye damage could result. Only ISO-Certified 12312-2 eclipse glasses should be used. The certification number may also appear as 12312-2:2015. They can be found here:

The public should expect traffic to be impacted by this event, particularly in the area of State Routes 12 & 28. Some streets and bridges in other areas of the county may be closed for pedestrian viewing. Traffic is expected to be heaviest right after the totality ends. Even residents who do not plan to watch the eclipse should plan on the following: 

  • Allow extra time when driving to work, events and appointments.
  • Avoid stopping on roadways to view the eclipse.
  • Use headlights when driving.
  • Fill your gas tank/have your vehicle fully charged ahead of the eclipse.
  • Have water, food, medications and appropriate clothing and supplies in your vehicle, should you become stranded during a traffic jam.

The increased amount of people in the area could also impede emergency response and slow down and limit cellular service.

This will not be a typical day in Oneida County. Some schools have chosen to close and others will be dismissing early. Some businesses may also be closed, while others could be crowded with visitors.

The next total solar eclipse will not happen in Oneida County until Oct. 26, 2144.

“If you plan to visit Oneida County for this rare event, please, come early and stay late,” Picente added. “The more we can avoid people coming and going all at once, the smoother and safer things will go for everyone.”  

For a round-up of all information related to the eclipse, please visit Oneida County’s special webpage at:

Oneida County Partners