Sunday, May 19, 2024

Niagara Region proactively declares state of emergency over solar eclipse

First Published:

The Niagara Region has pre-emptively declared a state of emergency ahead of the solar eclipse.

Regional Chair Jim Bradley announced the measure Thursday and said it will “strengthen the tools the Region has at its disposal to safeguard the health and safety of residents and visitors.”

Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protections Act, declaring an emergency is a legal framework that makes it easier for officials to swiftly mobilize the resources it needs to mitigate harm to people and property.

In this case, the Niagara Region will consult its emergency management plan for guidance on how to best use its own resources to avoid complete pandemonium during the eclipse.

READ MORE: Niagara Falls expects to see over 1M people for April’s Solar Eclipse

On April 8, the Moon will pass between the Earth and the Sun, making for a once-in-a-lifetime celestial display. While this is happening, some parts of our planet will be cast into darkness as the Moon briefly blocks the light from our Sun.

Areas where this rare moment can be witnessed are considered to be “in the path of totality,” and the entire Niagara Region is one of them.

Last month, Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati said he expected over a million people to flock to the city to view the event.

“We’ve got groups that follow these types of things and say we can expect eight to ten times our biggest crowd ever,” he said.

“For Nick Wallenda we had over 100,000 people in the park … so do the math, that’s like a million people. That alone would be a spectacle.”

In its latest update, the region is warning of massive crowds and long lines. “Consider filling up your gas tank, getting groceries and running errands before the eclipse.”

Already, children who live in the region are being given the day off school.

Additionally, public health clinics, municipal offices, and child care facilities are also closing in anticipation of the event.

“On April 8, the spotlight will be on Niagara as thousands of visitors join us to share in this once-in-a-lifetime event, and we will be ready to shine,” Bradley wrote. “I would like to thank all of our local governments, first responders, and community organizations who have been working together diligently to make sure our community is able to offer a safe and unforgettable experience, both for our visitors, and for all those who call Niagara home.”

READ MORE: Where to view the 2024 total solar eclipse in Hamilton, Niagara and surrounding areas

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