Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente is warning local residents too be prepared for the eclipse on Monday, April 8th. Additional traffic and thousands of tourists, at a time when Utica will already be filled with world hockey fans for the women's olympic championships, could cause havoc and Picente wants locals to be prepared.

“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,” Picente warned on Facebook.

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:
Picente says that highways, cellular service, gas stations, and grocery store stocks, could be impacted in parts of the state, and residents simply need to be prepared.
Here's what Picente is expecting as a possibility:
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.

35 Years Ago Tragedy on the New York State Thruway

April 5, 1987 the bridge carrying the Thruway over the Schoharie Creek collapsed in Montgomery County. Ten people were killed after immense rain caused the foundation of the bridge to buckle.

Gallery Credit: YouTube

Baltimore bridge collapse

Gallery Credit: Randy Kirby

Vintage 1951 Video Shows NY Thruway Being Built In Albany

It was a pretty big deal when the Thruway was being built in the 1950's and this vintage video not only shows the highway being built in the Albany area, but also some vinatge shots of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy.

Gallery Credit: Matty Jeff

Top 10 Deadliest States for Highway Driving

A study using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2017 to 2021 determines which states have the highest rates of driver fatalities on freeways.

Gallery Credit: Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media


More From WIBX 950