Eclipse will cause traffic to increase

BEDFORD – Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer reported she, Sheriff Greg Day, Assistant Addressing Coordinator Scott Smith, and the Bedford Chamber of Commerce hosted a Lunch & Learn program on Wednesday, Feb. 7, to businesses and local organizations on what to expect during the total solar eclipse on April 8.

Because the sun’s eclipse will begin around 1:50 p.m. that day and the total eclipse will occur around 3:05 p.m., area schools have canceled classes to avoid having buses in transit. The eclipse will end around 4:20 p.m. 

Valerie Luchauer

It is impossible to know how many people will attend the event in southern Indiana. Still, Lawrence County is preparing for an onslaught of visitors.

“Traffic is going to be a nightmare. With Monroe County having a longer totality, they expect 300,000 people, many of whom will pass through or be in Lawrence County,” said Luchauer. “Spring Mill State Park could have as many as 11,000 people. I expect traffic to be backed up on (Ind.) 37 from the Mitchell McDonald’s to Johnny Junxions.”

Luchauer has notified businesses that have afternoon shift changes of potential problems. Some businesses consider closing at noon that day so employees aren’t caught in traffic.

“We are prepared,” she added. “The big thing for me is people preparing for the traffic situation.”

Residents need NASA-approved glasses to view the eclipse.