Gov. Brown authorizes National Guard for solar eclipse

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown is authorizing the Oregon National Guard to deploy soldiers to help deal with an influx of tourists during next month's total solar eclipse.

"It is important to Governor Brown that state, local, and tribal partners are well prepared and ready to accommodate an unprecedented number of Oregonians and visitors that are expected view the 2017 solar eclipse," said her spokesman, Bryan Hockaday. "The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has led the state’s coordination efforts, and the Governor directed the Oregon National Guard to determine what resources, personnel, and equipment are available to provide additional traffic control and support services on the day of the event."

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that the National Guard will stage six aircraft and about 150 soldiers and airmen ahead of the Aug. 21 celestial event.

The moon's shadow first hits Oregon as the moon passes between the Earth and the sun and up to 1 million people are expected to visit the state to see it.

State and local governments have been planning for months to prepare for an influx of people that could jam highways and stretch resources.

The eclipse coincides with peak wildfire season in Oregon and the National Guard could help fight fires if necessary.

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© 2017 KGW-TV


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