Indiana Declares Emergency Ahead of Solar Eclipse Tourist Influx

Governor Eric Holcomb of Indiana has announced a state of emergency in light of the upcoming complete solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

This action is intended to prepare Indiana to receive many anticipated tourists visiting the state to see the extraordinary event. Indiana and all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and various American territories have ratified the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a national mutual aid system. The declaration, which goes into effect on Wednesday, permits Indiana to utilize resources and aid from other states through this system.

The eclipse is projected to attract hundreds of thousands of people to Indiana, significantly increasing in-state travel. Government officials have warned of a widespread and significant impact on the state’s critical infrastructure systems, which include transportation, emergency response, and communication networks. To ensure statewide readiness, the governor’s order enables the head of DHS to coordinate any necessary assistance with other local, state, and federal authorities.

The order is scheduled to expire on April 9, the day after the eclipse, despite prior disputes between state legislators and the governor’s office about the scope and length of similar directives.

Authorities in the Niagara Falls area of Canada have also issued a state of emergency declaration in anticipation of the eclipse on April 8th. Niagara authorities’ decision to declare a state of emergency one week before the solar eclipse was driven mainly by Mayor Jim Diodati’s expectations that the Canadian side of the falls would be flooded with more than one million people on the day of the eclipse.

In anticipation of the potential congestion and high traffic,  some counties in Texas have declared emergencies. The Office of Emergency Management declared a state of emergency in Bosque County, with traffic congestion being the main reason. In unusual preparations for the approaching Total Solar Eclipse, the Elyria Township Fire Department urged the local community to do things like fill up on food, make sure prescriptions are plentiful, charge cell phones, and schedule appointments either before or after the eclipse weekend.