Monroe County, Indiana

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2024 Total Solar Eclipse Webpage

(This page is updated often. Stay tuned for more information as time draws closer to the eclipse.)

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Questions and Answers

On Monday, April 8, 2024, Monroe County and the entire State of Indiana will experience a Total Solar Eclipse. 

What is a Total Solar Eclipse and what happens?

- A total solar eclipse is a very rare event when the moon passes between the sun and earth. This causes a complete blockage of the sun. When the eclipse takes place, the sky will become dark, like dawn. Monroe County lies within the path of totality, which is where the full eclipse experience takes place. Within the path of totality, viewers will see the sun's corona (outer atmosphere), which usually can't be seen due to the brightness of the sun.

The weather conditions can play a major role in the viewing of the eclipse. To have a clear view of the sun and moon, clear skies are needed. However, the daytime darkness that comes with the eclipse may still be noticeable on a cloudy day. The location also plays a role in your viewing experience of the eclipse. The areas within the path of totality have the most likely chance of receiving the entire eclipse experience. Therefore, people from other counties and states will be coming to Monroe County and surrounding areas for the viewing of the eclipse. Several viewing activities and events are being planned around the county and surrounding areas.

The next time the United States will experience a total solar eclipse will be in 2044.

What complications and challenges may this Total Solar Eclipse bring to Monroe County and surrounding area?

- Due to the rarity of a total solar eclipse, it is expected that thousands of people will travel to the areas that are within the path of totality so they can receive the full eclipse experience. With Monroe County and surrounding areas being in the center of the path of totality, it is likely that a rise in our population could be seen for a few days due to this event. A large increase in population could cause a few complications, such as traffic congestion, spotty or limited cell phone coverage, and supply shortages due to high demand.

According to an After-Action report from a jurisdiction that was within the path of totality during the August 2017 total solar eclipse, they had major traffic congestion on major roadways due to everyone trying to leave at the same time (after the eclipse was over). The jurisdiction also faced challenges with motorists running out of fuel on the roadway due to a limited fuel supply and all nearby fuel stations being overpacked. Cell phone coverage was very spotty and limited due to cell towers being overwhelmed. Emergency services were also exhausted due to the large increase in emergency calls. These were just a few of the complications and challenges that this jurisdiction experienced.

We know that there will be more people out on the roadways on the day of the eclipse, and we know that there will be several people trying to leave the county all at the same time, so traffic congestion will be a definite complication. Our office encourages you to plan ahead before you travel for the eclipse. Don't expect to get to your destination within a specific time, as long delays can be expected.

How will information (general and emergency) be shared to the public?

- General information that references the total solar eclipse will be shared with the public through the Monroe County Emergency Management Facebook page, website, and this eclipse webpage under the Information Sharing Section. Multiple agencies and jurisdictions within the county, such as the City of Bloomington, the Town of Ellettsville, Monroe County Government, and Indiana University, are all partnering together in information sharing and public messaging. The purpose of this partnership is to help reduce confusion within the public by having each involved agency and jurisdiction deliver the same and validated messages across their information sources. The social media platforms and webpages that are listed under the Eclipse Information Gathering and Sharing Resources heading will be a few of the sources from which you may find eclipse general information and preparedness tips.

All emergency information and messages will be delivered to the public through the Monroe County Alert System. The Emergency Management Agency encourages members of the public who live or work within Monroe County to sign up for the Monroe County Alert System prior to the total solar eclipse so that they can stay informed. The alert system is a free service for everyone. Follow this link to sign up for the alert system: https://member.everbridge.net/1772417038942730/login.

What steps can you take to make sure you are prepared and ready for the Eclipse?

  • If you plan to look up at the eclipse, ensure that you have the proper eyewear.
  • Stay up-to-date with the weather. Make sure you are aware of any chance of severe weather. Ensure that you have the proper gear and accommodations that you may need.
  • Ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive, especially if you are driving a long distance for the eclipse. It may be a good idea to have your vehicle maintained. Ensure that your vehicle has a full tank of fuel prior to your travel.
  • Have an emergency supply kit inside your vehicle with essential supplies that could get you by for several hours or a few days. Long travel delays can be expected, and they can last for several hours. It may be a good idea to pack snacks and bottled water for your drive in the event that you get stuck in traffic for hours.
  • If you are planning to visit Monroe County for the eclipse and stay the night, make sure to book your hotel or campsite as soon as possible. Most hotels and campgrounds are already fully booked.
  • Know where the local fire stations, police departments, and hospitals are.
  • Don't stop on any highway to view the eclipse. If you must stop, pull over to the shoulder out of the way of moving vehicles. If there is no shoulder, stopping won't be allowed!
  • Avoid parking in grassy areas or fields, especially if the ground is wet.
  • Sign up for roadside assistance through your automobile insurance, if available. Make sure that your automobile insurance is active.
  • Expect road congestion and travel delays. Be patient, and watch your surroundings.
  • If you plan to set up as a vendor selling food or other products within the county on public property, ensure that all permit regulations and ordinances are being followed. For food permits, contact the Health Department at 812-349-2543. If setting up within the City of Bloomington, contact the Department of Economic and Sustainable Development at 812-349-3418. Violators will be subject to removal and fees.

Eclipse Information Sharing Resources

Click on each link to be taken automatically to the webpage or Facebook page:

Monroe County Emergency Management Webpage

Monroe County Emergency Management Facebook Page
City of Bloomington Government Website City of Bloomington, Office of the Mayor Facebook Page
City of Bloomington, Fire Department Facebook Page Bloomington Police Department Facebook Page
Monroe County Sheriff's Department Facebook Page Monroe County Health Department Facebook Page
Monroe County Board of Commissioners Facebook Page Town of Ellettsville Government Website
Ellettsville Fire Department Facebook Page Ellettsville Police Department Facebook Page
Town of Ellettsville Facebook Page Monroe Fire Protection District Facebook Page
IU Police and Public Safety Facebook Page Visit Bloomington Website 

Validated Resources for Eclipse and Safety Information

For valid eye protection for the Eclipse, please see the link below:

Path of Totality Map on County GIS System 

Click on the below image to see the Path of Totality on the Monroe County GIS system. This map can be zoomed in to view direct locations within the county that are within the path.

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Eclipse Time Duration Video


Information Sharing Section

This section will be used for official information that needs to be shared with the public on the days leading to the eclipse, the day of the Total Solar Eclipse, and the days after.

  • If traveling for the eclipse, make sure to plan your trip well in advance. Have alternative plans and understand that travel delays can be expected after the eclipse ends.
  • Ensure that your vehicle has a full tank of fuel before departing for your eclipse viewing or event. It's recommended to fill up your tank a day before the eclipse due to the increase in visitors. Don't wait to fill up your tank after the eclipse is over for your drive back home.
  • If your vehicle is electric, make sure you have a full charge. Click here for a map of local charging stations.
  • It is encouraged to stay home if you don't have to travel on the day of the eclipse. Please note: All of Bloomington and Monroe County are within the path of totality, so the viewing will be similar all around the county. 
  • Avoid calling 911 for non-emergencies. Call 911 for medical emergencies, serious traffic accidents, occurring criminal activities, missing/lost persons, and other life-threatening or dangerous situations. If possible, use text 911 to report emergencies.
  • Please avoid calling 911 or the Monroe County Central Emergency Dispatch Center for non-emergency roadside assistance or towing services. Contact one of the local towing services within the county for those services. Click here for a list of local towing services.

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