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Klamath Eclipse 2023 - Klamath County residents…Be patient, be prepared, and enjoy the moment
You most likely have heard about the up-coming eclipse, but I want to remind you about specific ways to be ready for that weekend. There will be more people in our community and more demand for products, services, and infrastructure.
On October 14, 2023, Klamath County will provide some of the best views of the annular eclipse in the nation. The moon will begin to move across the sun at 8:05 a.m. with the maximum eclipse happening at 9:19 a.m. The moon will then finish its path across the sun at 10:41 a.m.
I want to remind you of ways to be prepared to make the experience positive.
• Purchase groceries a week or more ahead of time. Not only will you beat the crowds, but this will provide our local stores with time to restock before the event.
• Pick up your prescriptions and/or medical supplies early.
• Schedule doctor and dental appointments prior to the event. Road congestion is expected to start on Thursday, October 12th, prior to the eclipse and could remain busy for several days.
• Conserve energy by unplugging appliances you are not using and do laundry, use dishwashers and other necessities at low peak hours.
• Be prepared for slow internet.
• Fill your gas tanks before crowds arrive.
• Have some cash on hand. ATMs may run out of money or be hindered by slow internet.
• Traffic will be heavy and lines for food and in stores may be long.
Since the Klamath Basin is one of the best viewing points for the eclipse, people will travel here to see it. The number of people coming differs based upon various projections. During the Great Eclipse of 2017, Crook and Jefferson County (which was the best place to see the eclipse) saw 30,000 to 60,000 visitors.
By comparison, Klamath County has roughly 70,000 residents. The number of people in the county could nearly double. Based on experiences from the Great Eclipse of 2017, it is anticipated that the largest number of people arriving will be 12 hours prior to the eclipse. That means from 8:00 p.m. Friday, October 13, until 8:00 a.m. Saturday, October 14, roads and highways are likely to be extremely congested. Imagine attendees of Autzen Stadium (54,000 capacity) or Reser Stadium (43,000 capacity) coming into Klamath County and spending a few days.
Roads and highways in Klamath County are mostly two lanes. From Medford to Lakeview, Highway 140 will see extensive cars in both directions. Highways 97 and 58 are also expected to have heavy use. The Sprague River and Silver Lake highways are also anticipated to have heavy traffic.
There are events scheduled in Fort Klamath and at the Running Y Resort. Efforts are being made to help visitors enjoy the experience beyond the 2 hours and 37 minutes associated with the eclipse. It is also the weekend of the Modoc Ancestral Run.
Two other important points is it will be hunting season and the potato harvest will be in process, with trucks traveling between fields and sheds.
Traffic is likely to be heavy the entire weekend. Technology probably will be sluggish, with extra use of cell towers and other infrastructure.
Find a place close to home to see the eclipse. Don’t assume there will be space available at Crater Lake or other preferred viewing areas. Don’t look directly at the sun without using certified eyewear for the eclipse. Sunglasses are not enough to protect your eyes. Take photos of your friends and family enjoying the experience. We are five weeks away from the eclipse and I look forward to sharing memories of the event with many of you.
Please…Be prepared, be patient, and enjoy the moment.
Klamath County Board of Commissioners