Preparing for the Total Solar Eclipse- August 21, 2017

What is Transylvania County doing to ensure public safety during the Eclipse?

Transylvania County is working to coordinate with agencies that serve the public in law enforcement, fire and EMS at local, state and federal levels to make sure that we have plans to communicate in this unique event. We expect the eclipse will bring a large influx of people to our community for a short period of time should the weather be conducive to viewing the eclipse. At this time, there is about a 50% chance of rain in the long range forecast.

Transylvania County will close the landfill to the public for the day to conduct maintenance activities. All other Transylvania County office buildings will close to the public between 2:00 and 3:00 PM. The Rogow Room will remain open with livestreaming of the NASA feed on the eclipse.

Emergencies- How should I handle an emergency during this event?

Management recommends that you call 911 should you have an emergency. Be aware that cell service may be limited and we recommend limiting use of cell service during the eclipse for non-emergency use. Landlines should not experience interruption. Transylvania County is locating emergency crews throughout the county to help serve should an emergency occur.

Traffic- What should I expect on the roads?
For the weekend before the eclipse, expect the same traffic as a heavy holiday weekend in our community. Hotel rooms and accommodations are booked solid so emergency management expects heavy traffic through the weekend in our community. On Monday, August 21, 2017 expect significant delays in traffic throughout the day.

Transylvania County Emergency Management recommends that you plan for longer travel times and keep food, water and any other necessities with you if you choose to travel during the day. There will be a total of 16 electronic signs to alert visitors to the area of the traffic concerns as they enter the area. Residents are encouraged to limit travel if possible for the day. It is important that people do not block the right of way of roads so that if traffic is at a standstill emergency workers can still pass to serve those in need. Visitors should plan to view at a location with parking. Plan to get to your destination early and also plan to require extra time afterwards to leave the area as traffic will be significant.

Eye Safety- How do I protect my eyes from damage and how do I know if my eclipse glasses are adequate?
Transylvania Public Health wants all citizens to know how dangerous attempting to view the eclipse without safety glasses can be to your future eyesight. If you look at the eclipse without protection, you could risk damage to your eyes or even go blind! Parents should be diligent with children that they wear the glasses or not look at sun during the eclipse.

These handouts help explain the dangersEclipse Handout  Solar Eclipse Eye Safety Poster

NASA has also issued warnings about using fraudulent glasses that are not certified for viewing the Eclipse. You can find more information at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety. Here are a few tips:

  • Check to make sure that your glasses are manufactured by one of the approved manufacturers in addition to having the ISO 12312-2 safety standard information (see NASA link).
  • Do not plan to view the eclipse without safety glasses
  • Do not look at the eclipse through a telescope, camera or other lens even with your eclipse glasses on. The lens changes the rays and the glasses may not protect your eyes.

Events and Places to View- Where can I go to join others to view the Eclipse?
Transylvania County Tourism Development Board has been coordinating with those holding events throughout the planning stages. More information on events can be found at https://www.visitwaterfalls.com/eclipse/.