Solar Eclipse 2017: Oregon Officials Warn to Stockpile Food, Prepare to Shelter In Place

As the Aug. 21 full solar eclipse grows near, Lincoln City resident Laura Green and her neighbors are at ground zero.

The path of totality covers nearly all of Lincoln County, turning towns from Pacific City to Waldport, dark for as long as two minutes. While no one is entirely sure how many visitors will travel to the coast for the event, one estimate for north Lincoln City alone puts the number at 40,000 – more than 10 times the 3,500 visitors the area usually sees on a busy summer weekend.

Green’s neighborhood plans to stock up on water, fuel, trash bags – and snow fencing.

“We are in a really, really good prime viewing location,” said Laura Green, whose home is perched atop a ridge overlooking the ocean. “My insurance agent suggested spending a couple of bucks and buying snow fencing to keep people off the property.”

Advice from government officials sounds a bit ominous: Prepare to shelter in place. Purchase food and fuel at least a week in advance. Don’t expect to be able to use a cell phone in an emergency.

“ODOT expects traffic to completely stop,” Jim Kusz, fire department spokesman, told a recent Chamber of Commerce luncheon on eclipse preparedness. “Take care of yourself. Emergency response will be slow and delayed. Don’t burn your deck down in a barbeque, don’t cut yourself. Really prepare yourself and be vigilant.”

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