Tuesday, August 8, 2017

City Encourages Wilsonville Residents, Businesses and Commuting Workers to Prepare for Aug. 21 Eclipse Event


News Release from City of Wilsonville
Posted on FlashAlert: August 8th, 2017 4:18 PM
WILSONVILLE, OR -- The City of Wilsonville is encouraging residents, businesses and commuting workers to prepare for heavy traffic congestion during the Aug. 21 solar eclipse event that may last several days. Oregon transportation officials indicate that the period of Sunday, Aug. 20, through Tuesday, Aug. 23, is projected to see record-levels of traffic along the I-5 and 99E/99W corridors, as well as major arterials heading south to the eclipse "path of totality." With over one million visitors predicted to vacation in Oregon during the eclipse event, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and other public facilities may have much larger than normal crowds, with some retailers expected to sell-out of popular products.

Preparations can include:
* Stock-up on key supplies: Grocery stores and other retail outlets may begin to run low on supplies; stock-up on main supplies, medications and gasoline in advance.
* Plan for extended travel times: Prepare for any automobile trip to take an extended time due to much greater than normal traffic congestion; have an emergency supply of snack bars and bottled water in your vehicle. Consider using alternative car-pooling, transit and bike/ped transportation methods.
* Have a communications plan: Develop a plan for family or the workplace regarding how to handle potential travel delays or if cell-phone service is unavailable due to overloaded circuits.
* Deploy alternate work schedules: Employers and commuting workers are encouraged to consider implementing alternative work schedules and tele-commuting options where feasible.
* Check travel conditions in advance: Use www.TripCheck.com or call 511 before setting out to travel to check the latest road-condition information.

Delora Kerber, Wilsonville Public Works Director, said, "We suggest treating this eclipse event like a major snow-ice storm in terms of acquiring key supplies and gas in advance. Traffic congestion is anticipated to be considerably worse than normal, and to eclipse even 'Beavers versus Ducks' game-day traffic."

Police Chief Adam Phillips said, "The best advice for traveling during the eclipse is to arrive early; stay put; leave late. Treat this 3-hour event as a 3-DAY event."

All City facilities are expected to be operational during normal business hours during the eclipse event. City parks are open to the public during the eclipse period; however, overnight parking or camping is not permitted.

Emergency services may encounter some delays in responding to incidents. The Wilsonville Police and Clackamas County Sheriff's Office non-emergency number is 503-655-8211; for emergencies, call 911.

South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART), Wilsonville's transit agency, plans to continue normal operations with some additional safety measures on Monday, Aug. 21. Due to an anticipated increase in traffic, WES Commuter Train and all bus routes may experience schedule delays. Check www.RideSmart.com and www.TriMet.org for schedule updates.

For additional information and resources pertaining to the eclipse event, see:
* Clackamas County Aug. 21 Solar Eclipse Event: Comprehensive listing of local contacts, links to eclipse-viewing resources, tips and suggestions.
* ODOT Trip Check: Travel information and traffic conditions statewide.
* Oregon Emergency Management: Specific suggestions for residents, visitors and employers.

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