How Water & Wastewater Systems Can Prepare for the Solar Eclipse

Partial solar eclipse on a cloudy day in 2017

On the afternoon of Monday, April 8 there will be a total solar eclipse in northern Vermont and a partial eclipse in southern Vermont. Vermont is expecting 160,000 visitors between April 5–9. We encourage water and wastewater systems to plan ahead as this could cause disruptions.

The most likely impact is increased traffic, congested roads, and traffic jams.  Here’s what water and wastewater systems should be thinking about:

  • It may be difficult to drive anywhere on April 8, particularly in the afternoon. VTRANS and UVM created a traffic model to predict where the worst traffic congestion is expected. See “Traffic Modeling” on this report from VLCT.
  • When the eclipse begins around 2:15 pm, people may park on the side of the road wherever they are and traffic may come to a standstill. The eclipse will peak at 3:26 pm and end around 4:30 pm.
  • If you need to be on the roads on April 8, use Vermont 511 and Waze Maps to monitor traffic backups.
  • Avoid non-emergency repairs and maintenance, especially along roads. VTRANS has asked that all road work be paused from April 5–9.
  • If you must do road work, report road closures to Waze, which will reroute people using online maps for driving directions. Learn more at
  • Anticipate that deliveries scheduled for April 8 may be delayed.
  • Fill vehicle fuel tanks before April 5. A widespread fuel shortage is not expected, but gas may be locally sold out.
  • If you must work outside, know that the northern half of Vermont will experience complete darkness for about 3 minutes starting at 3:26 pm. Be prepared with proper safety equipment including high-visibility clothing and lights. See the map at the bottom of this page to see if you will be in the path of totality.
  • If you choose to observe the eclipse (and we hope you do!) wear ISO-certified eclipse glasses to protect your eyes. Sunglasses are not sufficient. Many towns and libraries are distributing free eclipse glasses.
  • Vermont Emergency Management will activate the State Emergency Operation Center from March 25 through April 9. If you need assistance from the SEOC, contact your town’s designated Emergency Management Director. A list of Emergency Management Directors by town can be found at

Find more information about the eclipse from the State of Vermont at and from VLCT at

Many thanks to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns for hosting a webinar series about preparing for the eclipse!