ADAMS COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – For some, seeing a total Solar Eclipse is a once in a lifetime opportunity. On April 8, 2024, for 2 minutes and 42 seconds, Adams County will have 99% totality, and much of Indiana will be affected by the eclipse. Thursday, the Adams County EMA (Emergency Management Agency) held a meeting at the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center to discuss the early planning stages of the eclipse event.
Adams County EMA officials have held multiple meetings with both Indiana and Ohio border officials, they are anticipating 20,000 to 40,000 people coming to the area. Traffic will be coming from Chicago, South Bend, Detroit, and Grand Rapids.
Since the Adams County EMA is in the early stages of planning, they are forming sub-committees that include communications and organization, public safety and health, transportation, viewing, lodging, local support, resources and logistics, and education. These sub-committees will meet monthly to discuss planning and preparation. The EMA will then work on an incident Action Plan.
“We are hoping that we can get three to five people per committee so they are more manageable,” said Barb Lehrman, director of Adams County EMA. “Once they attack the issue that they have to take care of, they can report back to EMA.”
EMA is hoping to get more knowledge out to the public, the EMA explained that many people don’t even know it is happening.
As the EMA continues to plan for the total solar eclipse, Adams County is working closely with Wells, Jay, and Van Wert counties to help guide each other through the event.
Adams County EMA is expecting congested traffic, booked hotels, and campgrounds. As well as a larger number of electric vehicles coming through Adams County than what they are normally used to. Adams County only has one charging station within the county.
From an education standpoint, Adams County EMA believes there are opportunities before, during, and after the total solar eclipse.
Libraries are receiving grants for glasses for all Adams County students. The National Standard is ISO 12312-2, information on eye safety and approved suppliers can be found here.
However, the Adams County EMA is stressing to their local schools to take an e-Learning day.
“We don’t want the kids on the bus sitting in traffic for six hours, little kids being afraid in the dark during the day,” Lehrman said.
Thursday marks 179 days until the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.
Officials estimate the eclipse will begin at 1:53 p.m. and will be completed by 4:25 p.m. that day. Adams County will see totality at approximately 3:09 p.m.
EMA officials noted a partial eclipse will be happening here in Adams County around 1 p.m. on October 14.
Scientists have said the next total solar eclipse will not occur in Indiana until 2099.