PAYETTE COUNTY - Payette County is being proactive in anticipation of possible damage and emergencies caused by the upcoming total solar eclipse.
County commissioners on Monday declared a local emergency/disaster declaration because of the August 21 event. It's in effect until September 5.
Officials said the declaration is in anticipation of public safety risk, financial damage and excess costs of labor, cleanup and property damage. It will help the county to respond to emergencies that happen leading up to the eclipse and beyond.
“The disaster declaration is a step that can be taken in anticipation of a disaster. This step is a precautionary measure that activates response plans in preparation for the event,” Payette County Emergency Manager Lt. Andy Creech said.
The event is expected to bring from 10,000 to more than 100,000 people to the county as they head toward Weiser, and officials have been preparing to respond to congested traffic, crashes and increased medical calls and fires because of the crowds.
“When we declare a local disaster, it only covers the expenses incurred by taxing entities and enitities that are considered a critical infrastructure," Creech said. "This allows Payette county to adjust budgets and respond as required to the solar eclipse events in a timely manner. The local disaster declaration does not provide individual assistance to cover individual, person or private citizens with any of their losses.”
Read more eclipse stories here.