Be Ready for Total Solar Eclipse on April 8

Feb. 16, 2024

Oswego County reminds residents that a solar eclipse will cross North America on Monday, April 8, and offers tips to ensure a safe and fun eclipse viewing experience.

The total eclipse will be viewable throughout Oswego County, with start and end times for the event varying by location. Generally, the eclipse will last approximately two and a half hours, and the period of totality will be about three minutes and 30 seconds.

The eclipse begins shortly after 2 p.m. locally, with totality starting and ending shortly before 3:30 p.m. Following totality, the eclipse continues as the moon moves across the sun, before concluding shortly after 4:30 p.m.

Oswego County residents can expect an influx of visitors, increased traffic and potentially decreased quality of cellular service.

The community is encouraged to follow these tips to make sure they’re ready for eclipse day:

  • Fill up gas tanks early, as more visitors may mean longer lines at gas stations.
  • Schedule appointments before or after April 8 or earlier in the day. Traffic is estimated to be highest in the afternoon and into the evening, so it is best to avoid late appointments.
  • For those using Oswego County public transit, traffic delays are possible.
  • Expect longer wait times at local businesses. Purchase groceries the weekend before the eclipse to avoid congestion at stores. For those going out on April 8, be sure to verify business hours in case there are changes due to the eclipse.
  • Be ready for possible cellular service disruptions by having multiple forms of communication and knowing where the closest accessible landline is.
  • Have cash on-hand for purchases at events.
  • Check the weather forecast and dress appropriately for weather conditions.

Eclipse viewers also need to be sure they have safe eyewear to avoid serious eye or vision injury. Eclipse glasses or a hand-held solar viewer must be used to view the eclipse before and after totality. Only special purpose solar filters that comply with the transmittance requirements of the ISO 12312-2 international standard allow people to safely look directly at the sun. For a list of suppliers of safer solar filters and viewers, visit the American Astronomical Society’s eclipse website at

It is recommended that anyone watching the eclipse bring their solar viewers, drinking water, snacks, extra clothing, first-aid kits and hard copies of maps and directions of the area in the event that there is reduced cell phone service.

Those planning to experience the eclipse on the water should follow these U.S. Coast Guard safety tips:

  • Always wear a life jacket onboard a boat or small craft.
  • Dress for the water by wearing base layers made of synthetic materials that wick away moisture. Wet suits are ideal for water temperatures under 50 degrees.
  • Always carry an emergency communications device like a VHF radio and signaling devices such as an emergency locator beacon.
  • Be sure that the boat has a re-boarding device such as a foot sling or ladder.
  • Cold water immersion is a fight for survival. If someone falls into cold water, time is of the essence to avoid hypothermia. Those submerged in cold water should focus on controlling their breathing, slowing their heat loss, keeping their airway clear and initiating emergency signaling and communications. They should rescue themselves first and then find other members of their party if possible.

Those traveling on eclipse day should be mindful of the eclipse’s three minute and 30 second period of totality. During totality the sky will become dark, similar to when it is dusk or dawn. Drivers and pedestrians should be prepared for nighttime conditions if traveling the afternoon of the eclipse.

As the eclipse will occur during usual school dismissal times, many Oswego County school districts are planning a half-day for students on April 8. Drivers should be prepared for school buses to be on the road earlier than usual and plan accordingly. Parents should make plans for their children and ensure they have proper eyewear if viewing the eclipse.

Businesses, organizations and individuals planning to open their doors or spaces to others during the eclipse should contact the Oswego County Health Department’s Environmental Division to ensure they’re following all public health regulations. For more information, call 315-349-3557.

For more eclipse information, visit the Oswego County Tourism eclipse webpage at