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On Monday, April 8th, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross a 16-mile wide path through Western New York. The last total solar eclipse over New York State was in 1925 and the next one isn’t expected until 2144. IT’S A BIG DEAL!!

What we have learned from past events: 

  • There was a large influx of visitors to the area.
  • Roads became congested and impassable in some areas due to traffic during the event. Highways became parking lots when people stopped their vehicles to get out and view the eclipse.
  • Emergency vehicles were unable to get through.
  • Supplies – Grocery stores and restaurants ran out of food.  Gas stations ran out of gas.  Residents were unable to get to pharmacies to get medications.

In the Dunkirk / Fredonia area, the eclipse will begin at 2:03 pm and end at 4:31 pm with TOTALITY from 3:17 pm – 3:21 pm.

What our region is preparing for:

  • We are expecting 375,000 visitors to the WNY region – that’s 5 Highmark Stadiums full of people!
  • People will arrive 1-4 days prior.  Area hotels are already completely booked for the weekend.
  • Schools are closed or have early release the day of the eclipse.
  • Additional emergency response vehicles will be staffed and prepositioned throughout the County.
  • Additional resources will be in place for communications and 911 calls.

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What Brooks-TLC is preparing for: 

There are several Eclipse Viewing events being held within our service area.  Due to this, and the probability of increased visitors and traffic to our area, B-TLC is preparing for a possible patient surge to the Emergency Department and Gowanda Urgent Care.  Top complaints for ED visits during the last total solar eclipse in the U.S. included eye injuries, mental health issues and worried well (persons who are in relatively good health, but believe themselves to be ill or likely to get an illness based on a specific event or circumstance).

We are also ensuring we have enough supplies (medical, pharmaceutical, linens, food) on hand in the event vendors are unable to make deliveries due to traffic.

For the safety of our staff, patients and visitors, viewing glasses will be available to those leaving the B-TLC Campuses during the eclipse.

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Safe viewing of the eclipse: 

The ONLY safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or handheld solar viewers (examples shown at left).

Ordinary sunglasses are NOT SAFE for looking at the sun.

Instructions for safe use of solar filters/viewers:

ALWAYS inspect your solar filter before first use; if scratched, punctured, torn or otherwise damaged, discard it.

If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on.  Put your eclipse glasses over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.

Stand still and cover your eyes with your solar eclipse glasses or solar viewer BEFORE looking up at the bright sun.  After looking, turn away and remove your filter – DO NOT remove it while looking at the sun.

DO NOT look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device, even while using your eclipse glasses or handheld viewer.

If you are inside the path of totality, remove your solar filter ONLY when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark.  Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.

Outside the path of totality, and throughout a partial solar eclipse, there is NO TIME when it is safe to look directly at the sun without using a special-purpose solar filter that complies with the transmittance requirements of the ISO 12312-2 international standard.