Washington County declares emergency ahead of solar eclipse

WEISER - Washington County commissioners have passed an emergency declaration in anticipation of an influx of visitors for this summer's solar eclipse.

Steve Penner, a spokesman for Washington County Disaster Services, said on Thursday that the declaration was made "out of an abundance of caution," as thousands of visitors are expected to descend on Weiser and other locations in the county to see the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

The resolution would allow for state assistance if conditions become more than local agencies can handle, Penner said.

RELATED: ITD, ISP prepare for solar eclipse, big impact on traffic

Officials are concerned that the crowds could cause a number of problems, including property damage, overburdened transportation corridors, a lack of proper sanitation facilities, and a possible loss of communication abilities if networks are overwhelmed by users.

The declaration will be in effect until the end of August.

Washington County has seen its fair share of disasters in recent months, from heavy snow collapsing roofs to major flooding as the snow melted.

Weiser, the county seat, welcomed a return to normalcy this week as the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest and Festival got underway.  

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