Texas declares state of emergency in Bell County due to April solar eclipse: What does it mean?

(CNN) — The solar eclipse, scheduled for Monday, April 8, will be a unique sight, and there are many who are already making preparations so as not to miss a minute.

Of those who have decided to go to a privileged location to access the event, most have chosen Bell County, north of Austin, Texas, from where the event can be seen in all its glory.

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As a result, the county has announced that it will declare a state of emergency due to the “large number of visitors” who will travel there due to its location on the path of totality (the path in which the moon will completely cover the sun). About 400,000 people currently live in Bell, and the eclipse could double that number.

“Bell County’s population is expected to double several days before and on the day of the solar eclipse event, causing heavy traffic congestion, stress on first responders, access to hospitals, food, groceries and fuel. Shortages with strain on local infrastructure,” Bell said. The county has the expectation on its website.

“To protect the health, safety and well-being of both residents and visitors, Bell County has determined that extraordinary measures must be taken in the form of a local emergency declaration,” it added.

Among the measures that this emergency declaration will cover is the obligation for landowners to give notice if they plan to host events for viewing the eclipse, camps, parties or other events where there are more than 50 people.

In addition, county authorities list tips for residents to avoid the collapse of services, including avoiding leaving home as much as possible, taking alternate routes, planning fuel in advance, buying food and supplies in advance, no later than April 4. among other things.

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