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Indiana Governor Declares State Of Emergency Ahead of Solar Eclipse Next Week

As the Hoosier state braces for a memorable celestial event, Governor Eric Holcomb has taken a proactive step by declaring a statewide disaster emergency in anticipation of the total solar eclipse set to occur on April 8th, 2024.

This measure is designed to prepare Indiana for the vast number of visitors expected to flock to the state to witness the rare occurrence.

The declaration, effective Wednesday, allows Indiana to utilize resources and aid from other states through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

This compact is a national mutual aid system which Indiana, along with all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and various American territories, have ratified.

Gov. Holcomb signed the order to address anticipated needs due to the significant influx of tourists. The EMAC members will share equipment and communications systems to help ensure safety during the eclipse-related surge in tourism, the Indiana Capital Chronicle.

Indiana is expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors for the April 8 event, which is also likely to prompt considerable in-state travel. Officials are predicting a “widespread and significant impact” on the state’s “critical infrastructure systems,” including those necessary for communication, emergency response, and transportation.

The governor’s order authorizes the leader of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to coordinate any required assistance with other local, state, and federal agencies, ensuring statewide preparedness. This action is a direct response to potential technological or other emergencies that could arise due to the heavy strain on emergency services.

Although Gov. Holcomb has utilized disaster declarations in the past, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been tensions between the governor’s office and state lawmakers concerning the extent and duration of such orders.

Despite previous disagreements, the current order is set to end on April 9, the day after the eclipse.


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