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News from Eclipseville - Get Ready!

NEWS FROM ECLIPSEVILLE – Get Ready!

The City of Gatesville has been working for the last year to prepare for an influx of visitors for the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024. We anticipate that our population could double or triple for the weekend leading up to the eclipse, and that many more will travel to or through our community on April 8. Our Police and Fire Departments, along with other city departments have worked with Gatesville ISD, Coryell Health, TXDoT, DPS and other agencies and organizations. Together, we have carefully thought through potential problems and have planned for how we can accommodate the increased numbers, control heavier than normal traffic, and provide a good experience for our residents and visitors. We've also been able to talk with communities that were in the path of totality in 2017 and have learned from their experiences. While it is inevitable that there will be some issues, we are confident that we are doing everything we can to be ready to respond to those. We ask you to join us in preparing. The following are some tips for our residents for the days leading up to the Total Solar Eclipse:

To Do Now:

  • Educate Yourself - This eclipse will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of us. There is plenty of information online, in the news, and at our public library. Understanding what you will see and how to safely observe it is an important first step.

  • Get Eclipse Glasses - You'll need special glasses to safely observe the partial phases of the eclipse. Failure to use these can result in permanent damage to your eyes. The City of Gatesville has custom, commemorative eclipse glasses for sale at City Hall and the Gatesville Fitness Center. These and other designs are also available in various businesses in town. 

  • Consider Your Schedule - Schedule non-emergency appointments on dates other than April 8, if possible. Traffic is expected to be heavy that Monday. You also don't want to miss the eclipse while sitting in a waiting area!

  • Make Necessary Travel Preparations - If you work outside of town or must drive that Monday, be aware that there may be significant traffic issues on Monday afternoon, particularly on Hwy 36 and US 84.

To Do Starting April 1st:

  • Stock Up - Our stores are preparing for a heavier demand, but we could see shortages of some essential items between April 6-9 and the stores may be busier than usual during that time. It would be a good idea to shop early in the week of April 1. Fill prescriptions and purchase any necessities so that you aren't running out on April 8 for these.

  • Fuel Up - With the number of travelers in and through our area, there could be some fuel shortages by Monday, April 8th. Help our local gas stations by fueling up your vehicles earlier in the week of April 1st so they can have enough on hand for travelers between the 6th-9th. 

  • Get Cash - It is possible that the higher demand on our cell and internet systems could cause credit card machine problems over this busy weekend. ATM machines may also run low on cash. Please try to do this ahead of the weekend so that our banks and businesses have plenty on hand before they get busy with visitors.

 

To Do April 6-7:

  • Get Out and Enjoy! - We are holding a downtown, BLOCK (out the sun) PARTY on April 6-7.  Admission is free and there will be plenty for kids and adults. Come out to visit with your neighbors, meet our visitors, and make some memories as we wait and prepare for the Total Solar Eclipse. We do expect to have a good number of people in town over the weekend, but we don't anticipate major traffic issues until Monday afternoon, so don't be afraid to join in the festivities!

To Do April 8th:

  • Stay home if you can and witness this amazing event! You'll be able to see the partial phases with eclipse glasses starting around 12:15pm. Totality occurs at 1:36 and will last 4 minutes, 23.9 seconds. You'll then be able to observe the partial phases again.

  • If you must travel, expect that traffic will be heavier than normal Monday morning. Be prepared that the main roads and highways will likely be congested for several hours after the eclipse. 

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