Thousands of tourists are expected to visit Casper to view the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. Across Natrona County, government agencies are working to help visitors and locals safely enjoy the event.
But at a gathering of agencies last week, representatives also provided some tips for how we can help them during the festival, which I’m sharing here.
I’m also trying to learn what our readers are planning to do for the eclipse. Are you going to flee town to avoid the chaos? Host a party at your house? Take part in the downtown festivities? Please shoot me an email and let me know.
Jason Speiser, the battalion chief for the Casper Fire Department, asked the public to assist the department by “keeping an eye out” and reporting any emergency situations. He added that cars should never park in spaces reserved for emergency vehicles and said drivers should quickly move out of the way if they see fire trucks or ambulances responding to an incident.
Resist road rage
The roads are probably going to be packed, but Jeff Goetz, the public relations specialist for the Wyoming Department of Transportation, said local residents can help prevent wrecks by driving responsibly and being patient with out-of-towners who are unfamiliar with Casper’s streets. If you’re driving during the eclipse, be aware that many other drivers may be slowing down or pulling over to watch the event, he said.
Animals that will be out-and-about during the festivities should be wearing proper identification tags, according to Tory Wash, the division manager of Metro Animal Services. That will make it easier for the agency to return any animal that may get lost in the crowds.
If you have guests visiting from areas with lower elevations, be sure to warn them about the risk of altitude sickness and encourage them to drink lots of water and refrain from strenuous physical activity, advised Audrey Gray, the public health preparedness manager with the Casper-Natrona County Health Department. Keeping visitors healthy will help prevent crowding at hospitals or clinics, she said.
And finally, willows
Now, on to something non-eclipse-related .…
I was surprised by the amount feedback I received on two articles about the destroyed willows at Morad Park. I didn’t expect willows to be such a hot topic, but many readers voiced firm opinions about what happened to the plants.
The most commonly blamed culprits: Geese, high water and vandals.
I’m glad to learn that Casper residents are so passionate about their community and I appreciate all the calls and emails.