You are here

What to expect when you're expecting a total solar eclipse, part 2

NOTE: As of April 5, the forecast for Monday afternoon is mostly sunny with a high near 71 degrees.

By Paula Pyzik Scott

The Icon has sifted through local and national resources to provide you with the following tips on what to expect when you’re in the “path of totality” of the total solar eclipse in the communities of Ada and Bluffton on Monday, April 8, 2024.

The longest-lasting potential impact of the eclipse is eye damage. Looking directly at the sun can result in serious and permanent eye injury. The retina does not have pain receptors, so damage can be done without immediate symptoms.

Special eclipse glasses are being offered by many local businesses and organizations. Look for ISO-approved solar-eclipse glasses that include labels with the name of the manufacturer, instructions for safe use and warnings of the dangers of improper use. 

Even your camera needs a solar filter on the lens. Photographing the eclipse can damage camera sensors, including cell phone cameras.

Another way to experience the drama of the eclipse is with pinhole projection. With the sun behind you, you can look at the light passing through a small hole in an index card or even a kitchen colander onto a smooth surface. The sun’s changing shape will be projected in little crescents and then little rings.

Law enforcement agencies expect the number of people in our area to double with eclipse tourism. If this area has cloud cover, eclipse followers will pick up and move to find clearer skies.

Law enforcement agencies are encouraging residents to be prepared for traffic jams and for shortages of gasoline. Bluffton and Ada Schools will be closed. Bluffton University and Ohio Northern University have canceled classes; their campuses will also be closed to the public. 

Check with the local media for updates. Cell phone providers are optimistic about service levels, but phone service could be impacted the higher volume of users.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has an interactive traffic forecast map HERE.

Have property that would be tempting to impromptu guests? Post "No Trespassing" signs if visitors are not welcome.

Consider rescheduling non-emergency appointments on April 8 and be ready with essential groceries and medications. Make sure locations are open and regularly scheduled events are occurring as usual before getting on the road. 

  • Expressway backups of several hours can take place in connection with eclipse traffic. 
  • Come early and don’t be in a hurry to leave is standard advice.
  • Cell phone service could also be maxed out with the increase in visitors to the area. 
  • Paper maps could be a useful resource for people coming to the area.

As safety services have reminded us, calling 911 is for emergencies only. 

Area Agency on Aging 3 suggests advance preparation for prescriptions, hygiene items and oxygen, as well as a backup for routine services: personal care and homemaking, delivered meals.

In the 45810 and 45817 area codes, the Duration of Totality–when the moon will totally cover the sun–will be 3 minutes and 47 seconds, from approximately 3:10-3:14 p.m. The sky will begin to darken at 1:55 p.m. and return to normal at 4:26 p.m. 


Bluffton locations:
1861 Wine Lounge Eclipse Party, from noon to 6:00 p.m., 115 N. Main.

Ada area locations:

War Memorial Park will have public restrooms open. The football stadium and playground will be open and food trucks are being scheduled.

Liberty Oaks venue, 0395 St, OH-235, is hosting a parking lot viewing event with Slow Smokin' BBQ and Circle U Waffle food trucks. Boondocking is $100 by reservation only. $10 parking, $5 solar eclipse glasses. Bring your lawn chair and/or blanket.

Harrod Event Center will have live music, food trucks and bounce houses near the soccer field. Parking $5/car.



American Astronomical Society 

NASA Eclipse Explorer

Basic preparation tips

Allen County promotions

Hardin County promotions

Public Safety 



Concerns about total eclipse are real by Pam Cottrel, Springfield News-Sun (Kentucky)