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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Lawrence County's cities and towns make final preparations for April 8th Total Eclipse a month away

LAWRENCE COUNTY - MARCH 8, 2024 - Mitchell Police Chief Chief Troy Lobosky :

- Eclipse Advisory April 8th is fast approaching and like all the communities in southern Indiana preparing for this rare event, we are excited to be part of it.


Photo: Mitchell Town Officials have been preparing for the Total Eclipse for sometime


The eclipse draws many people to the area based on data from previous events in nearby states, and because it is weather dependent, preparation is daunting.


The best advice we can give is to treat it like any other weather event and prepare ahead of time. If you choose to leave home to take part in the many activities of the day, make sure your vehicle(s) are topped off with gas, as you might get caught in extended traffic jams in normally uncongested areas hours prior to and after the event.


Expect extended times to get anywhere that day, especially afterwards. Pick alternate routes of travel if possible and have plenty of food / drinks with you as well as any medications you require throughout the day and evening in addition to a first aid kit.


Response times for a medical response may well be extended, so be prepared. Be cognizant and give the right of way to emergency vehicles trying to get through. Cellular towers may well be overloaded, so limit calls/data use to necessary use only. Use 911 only for dire emergencies. Lastly, be patient. We want nothing more than for everyone to have a great day and be able to see one of natures wonders right before our eyes….and wear your protective glasses. Chief Troy Lobosky Mitchell Police Department


Town of Oolitic residents should have received the following information:


The Town of Oolitic will be closing some streets in order for emergency crews to reach emergencies throughout the town on April 8th. A air ambulance will be located at Dollens School for any major incident in the county.



All emergency personnel and agencies will have extra personnel on hand to deal with emergencies and incidents throughout Lawrence County.


More than 300,000 people are expected in Monroe County and are expected to pass through the area.


Indiana State Police reminders:


Indiana will play a pivotal role in hosting eclipse enthusiasts as they flock to the Hoosier State to catch a glimpse of the first total solar eclipse in seven years on Monday, April 8.


The eclipse will be visible over a large portion of the state, with the path of totality spanning from Evansville to the outskirts of Fort Wayne, entering southwest Indiana at 3:01 p.m. EDT/2:01 p.m. CDT and exiting to the northeast at 3:12 p.m. EDT/2:12 p.m. CDT. Other parts of the state will experience a partial eclipse of at least 90 percent totality from approximately 1:30 p.m. EDT/12:30 p.m. CDT to 4:30 EDT/3:30 CDT.



Nearly 4 million Hoosiers live within the path of totality, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to visit Indiana for the event. Increased traffic and congestion are also expected as residents and tourists alike make their way to viewing destinations. Areas near the eclipse centerline are anticipated to see the greatest influx of visitors, including Vincennes, Bloomington, Franklin and just north of Richmond. Indianapolis and Evansville are also included in the path.


To ensure a smooth trip, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the Indiana State Police (ISP) urges drivers to plan ahead and prepare for potential travel impacts before, during and after the eclipse.


Before the eclipse:


  • Research your viewing site, considering accessibility, parking and crowd size. Check INDOT TrafficWise on the mobile app or at org to plan your route and monitor traffic conditions. Plan to arrive to your destination early.


  • Anticipate increased traffic and congestion, especially in areas in or near the path of totality.

  • Reach your destination safely -- buckle up and put your phone down while driving.


  • Pack plenty of snacks and water, as well as charging cables for electronics and mobile devices, in the event you or your group become stranded.

  • Make sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas and top off fluids before you head out in case you’re stuck in traffic for a long period of time. Use this eclipse-ready checklist for more road trip essentials.


  • Don’t forget your solar eclipse viewing glasses! You will need specially designed glasses to avoid damage to your eyes.


During the eclipse:


  • Avoid travel during the eclipse or in the main path if possible.

  • Exit the roadway to stop and view the solar eclipse. Do not stop along highways or park on the shoulder for viewing.

  • Do not take photos or videos while driving. Indiana is a hands-free state. Holding mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets while driving is prohibited by state law.

  • Do not wear eclipse glasses while driving.

  • Turn on your headlights. Do not rely on automatic lights.

  • Watch for pedestrians, especially along secondary roads.


After the eclipse:


  • Plan your post-event transportation method well in advance. If celebrating, ensure everyone has a safe and sober way to return home. Designate a sober driver or arrange for alternate transportation.

  • Exercise patience when leaving your viewing location as traffic may be heavy. Follow instructions from law enforcement or emergency personnel and be considerate of fellow drivers. Stay put and stick around to avoid the post-event rush.

  • Clean up after yourself and dispose of trash in designated receptacles or take it with you.


Once again, check INDOT TrafficWise on the mobile app or at 511in.org to plan your route and monitor traffic conditions.


INDOT will limit road closures and restrictions where possible on state routes to help with traffic flow surrounding the eclipse.


Oversize and overweight permits will also be temporarily suspended during this time.


View current construction and maintenance activities on INDOT TrafficWise or the free mobile app.


Visit the sites below and follow INDOT and ISP on social media for more information regarding the total solar eclipse in Indiana.


Stay Informed


Get updates on INDOT projects and programs via:

Twitter: @INDOT

TrafficWise: 511in.org


For breaking news and information go to lczephyyr.org or like/follow the Lawrence County Zephyr Facebook page.


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