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As the countdown to the celestial spectacle on April 8, 2024 enters its final month, Chautauqua County officials are intensifying preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for residents and visitors.

Drawing from the success of past total solar eclipses, the county is focusing on a comprehensive approach to address safety, traffic management, and community engagement.

Officials are urging the public to take an active role in their own eclipse celebration planning. We are encouraging residents and visitors to make a plan, considering factors such as transportation, viewing locations, and safety precautions. This collaborative effort aims to minimize traffic congestion, enhance safety, and make the eclipse experience truly memorable.

“As we approach the 30-day mark until the 2024 Solar Eclipse graces Chautauqua County, our preparations intensify to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for all. We strongly advise everyone to plan ahead by stocking up on essentials like gas the week before the eclipse, considering potential busyness at stations. Additionally, it’s wise to secure necessary medications in case roads experience gridlock,” explained Noel Guttman, Director of Emergency Services, Chautauqua County. “For our local residents, know that you can savor the eclipse’s wonder right from your own backyard, eliminating the need for extensive travel. Let’s come together to make this celestial event a moment of unity and awe for Chautauqua County.”

Previous celestial events revealed the challenges associated with accommodating a sudden surge in visitors. Increased traffic, overwhelmed accommodations, and unexpected demands on emergency services underscored the importance of proactive planning.

Understanding the potential impact of the upcoming eclipse, we encourage residents and visitors alike to adopt a preparedness mindset similar to planning for a winter storm. This includes:

Essential Supplies: Residents are urged to ensure that essential items such as food, water, gas, and prescription medications are readily available. This proactive measure enhances individual readiness and contributes to a collective effort for a safe and enjoyable eclipse experience.

Accommodation and Services Readiness: Local accommodations, restaurants, and businesses are integral to the success of the eclipse viewing experience. Though partnerships with the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, we are actively collaborating with these entities to ensure they are well-prepared for the anticipated increase in demand.

Traffic Management Strategies: Recognizing the potential challenges posed by increased traffic, Chautauqua County is coordinating with law enforcement and transportation authorities. This collaboration focuses on implementing traffic control measures and alternative routes to alleviate congestion. By advising visitors to “come early and stay late,” the county aims to distribute arrivals more evenly, minimizing traffic bottlenecks. Residents can relish the wonders of the eclipse from the comfort of your own backyard, eliminating the need for extensive travel.

Emergency Response Enhancement: Chautauqua County is committed to enhancing emergency response capabilities to manage potential incidents during the eclipse. Specifically, emergency response assets will be staged countywide and at the ready ahead of Monday, April 8, 2024 and the increased traffic from visitors.

In a further commitment to public safety, Chautauqua County Government will announce details next week about the distribution of free eclipse glasses for residents and visitors. This initiative underscores the county’s dedication to providing protective eyewear, ensuring everyone can safely enjoy the eclipse without compromising their vision. More information on eye safety will also be forthcoming, with public service announcement from our County Health Department.

“As we stand on the brink of the 2024 Solar Eclipse, I extend my sincere gratitude to the Chautauqua County Emergency Services Department, and in particular, Director Noel Guttman, for their unwavering dedication and tireless efforts in preparing our community for this celestial event,” said Paul M. Wendel Jr., Chautauqua County Executive. “Noel has invested countless man-hours, personally engaging with local businesses, groups, and schools, ensuring that everyone is well-prepared and informed. His commitment to thorough communication and meticulous preparation exemplifies the dedication of our emergency services team. As we eagerly anticipate the eclipse, I am confident that Chautauqua County is well-prepared to welcome visitors and provide a safe and memorable experience for all.”

As Chautauqua County moves forward with its preparations, the community is invited to stay tuned for updates and announcements regarding eclipse safety measures, distribution details, and additional initiatives to enhance the overall eclipse experience online at:

About Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services: The Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services is dedicated to safeguarding the community by providing comprehensive emergency management, response, recovery, and mitigation services. The office plays a crucial role in ensuring the well-being and safety of Chautauqua County residents and visitors during both routine and extraordinary events. For more information, visit