Niagara region declares state of emergency out of caution ahead of rare eclipse

Many people are splurging on hotels and rentals in advance to experience the phenomenon at one of North America's natural wonders

Reuters
Published : 30 March 2024, 04:24 AM
Updated : 30 March 2024, 04:24 AM

Canada's Niagara region has proactively declared a state of emergency ahead of a rare total solar eclipse on Apr 8 that is expected to gather massive crowds to areas in and around the region's popular waterfalls.

The Niagara region said in a statement on Thursday that Regional Chair Jim Bradley had declared a state of emergency "out of an abundance of caution."

"Declaring a state of emergency ... strengthens the tools the region has at its disposal to safeguard the health and safety of residents and visitors and protect our critical infrastructure in any scenario that might arise," a Niagara region press release said.

The dramatic waterfall, situated along the Canadian-US border, is in the path of the eclipse, and many people are splurging on hotels and rentals in advance to experience the phenomenon at one of North America's natural wonders.

The mayor of Ontario city of Niagara Falls Jim Diodati predicted "by far the biggest crowd that we've ever had" on the Canadian side for the eclipse. Diodati estimated that up to a million people will be there, compared with the 14 million who typically visit during the course of an entire year.

The region will also be modifying some of its programs and services and closing some facilities to keep traffic off the roads on Apr 8.