April 7, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers on State Preparations for April 8 Total Solar Eclipse

Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers on State Preparations for April 8 Total Solar Eclipse

Governor Hochul Urges New Yorkers and Visitors Traveling for This Once-In-A-Generation Event to Pack Patience and Prepare for High Volume of Traffic; Monitor Weather Forecast Before Getting on the Road

Since October 2022, Interagency Task Force Convened by Governor Hochul has Been Working with Local Authorities to Ensure a Safe Viewing Experience

Governor Hochul Reminds New Yorkers to Use Proper Eye Protection to View the Eclipse; More Information and Resources Available Here

This Week, Governor Hochul Hosted Virtual Conversation With NASA Astronaut and Syracuse Native Dr. Jeanette Epps Ahead of the Eclipse; Full Conversation Here

State Parks and NASA to Hold Events Across New York State on April 8

Governor Kathy Hochul today updated New Yorkers on the state’s preparations to ensure everyone can have a safe and memorable total solar eclipse viewing experience on April 8. In preparation for a high volume of traffic and visitors, Governor Hochul is advising travelers to arrive to their destinations early and plan on staying late, allow for extra travel time, monitor the weather forecast before getting on the road, and pack plenty of water and snacks for the trip. Additionally, drivers should never pull over on the side of the road to view the eclipse to ensure first responders can get by in an emergency. Governor Hochul and Administration officials delivered this update today virtually and at Niagara Falls State Park.

“New York is prepared to welcome visitors from around the world to view the total solar eclipse on April 8, and I urge all travelers to be prepared for a high volume of traffic,” Governor Hochul said. “This truly is a once-in-a-generation event, and my administration has been working for 18 months to ensure a safe and enjoyable viewing experience for all. With our world class parks and charming downtowns, I encourage visitors to come for the eclipse, but stay for all that New York has to offer.”


During the afternoon of April 8, a total eclipse will encompass 29 counties in the western and northern parts of New York State. For other areas of the state that are outside the path of totality, there will still be 88 percent to over 99 percent coverage. The next total solar eclipse that will be visible from the contiguous U.S. will not be until August 2044.

In preparation for the eclipse, Governor Hochul hosted a virtual conversation this week with NASA Astronaut and Syracuse native Dr. Jeanette Epps, who is currently aboard the International Space Station. The Governor asked Dr. Epps several questions submitted by New York students about the upcoming eclipse and space exploration. The full conversation and transcript is available here.

In October 2022, Governor Hochul convened an Interagency Task Force comprised of nearly two dozen state agencies and authorities to prepare for this event. The Task Force has been collaborating for the past 18 months on plans to ensure everyone can safely enjoy the eclipse. Governor Hochul has been working with her administration to ensure everyone can safely enjoy this once-in-a-generation event by:

  • Directing the New York State Police, Department of Transportation (DOT) and Thruway Authority to prepare for a high volume of traffic. The Governor is urging travelers to be patient, be prepared for backups, and always obey traffic rules.
  • Activating state agencies to prepare for weather related emergencies and urging travelers to monitor the forecast, especially in the Adirondacks after this week’s storm.
  • Ensuring New Yorkers know where to find the proper eye protection. During the eclipse, looking directly at the sun without specialized eye protection can result in serious injury. More information and resources available here.
  • Working with agencies and local authorities to ensure communities have the tools they need to manage an influx of visitors.
  • Warning New Yorkers to protect themselves against potential scams, fake merchandise, and phony accommodation listings.

New York is prepared to welcome visitors from around the world to view the total solar eclipse on April 8, and I urge all travelers to be prepared for a high volume of traffic.”

Governor Hochul

New York State’s Eclipse Experience Preparations

Interagency Task Force

For the last 18 months, an interagency task force comprised of nearly two dozen state agencies and authorities, has been collaborating on plans to ensure a safe and memorable viewing experience for New York State’s residents and visitors. It is focused on building awareness of the State as a prime location to experience the eclipse by gathering important safety and preparedness information, amplifying and supporting region-specific viewing activities, and maintaining regular communication with local governments and municipalities, especially those within the path of totality.

New York’s public safety efforts align with the State’s normal jurisdictional role over state parks and State roads and support to local governments in their planning and decision making in accordance with their own codes, laws and needs as this exciting event approaches. Public safety challenges for such an event include traffic management, communications capabilities and public health and safety. State, county and local public safety and emergency management efforts have been and will continue to be tailored to the anticipated needs from an influx of those who come to view the eclipse from both inside and outside the state.

Traffic Preparations

Governor Hochul has directed State Police, DOT, and Thruway to prepare for a high volume of traffic the weekend leading up to the eclipse and through April 9. Vehicles are not allowed to park on the shoulder of the highway to view the eclipse. DOT and Thruway will have increased staffing and patrols for maintenance and traffic crews. Additionally, construction and temporary lane closures will be suspended to allow traffic to flow.

Weather Conditions

Earlier this week, Governor Hochul provided updated viewing location information for the total solar eclipse and offered additional resources as unsafe winter conditions are expected in the Adirondack backcountry after this week’s storm. Temperatures are forecast to rise back into the 50s, just in time for Monday’s total solar eclipse. Warmer temperatures will create even more hazardous conditions with rapidly melting snow, ice, and possible avalanche danger in the Adirondacks. Travelers are encouraged to stay informed throughout the duration of their trip as the weather forecast is subject to change. More information about agency preparations is available here.

Eye Protection

During the eclipse, it is especially unsafe to look directly at the sun without specialized eye protection and can result in serious injury. The partial phases of the solar eclipse can only be safely observed directly with specialized eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer ­– regular sunglasses are not a safe replacement. On March 18, Governor Hochul launched a statewide effort to distribute limited-edition I LOVE NY eclipse glasses at 30 locations throughout the state.

Eclipse Events

Governor Hochul announced earlier in March that on April 8, numerous eclipse-viewing gatherings are scheduled at many New York State parks and historic sites. Register for the events and activities through the OPRHP event calendar and the eclipse website. The Governor also announced that through April 8, 2024, scientists, subject matter experts and astronauts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will be providing programming and exhibits at Niagara Falls State Park as well as throughout the city. Full list of events found here will be free and open to the public.

Come for the Eclipse, Stay for New York

I LOVE NY has launched the multi-platform “Come for the Eclipse, Stay for New York” campaign to present New York as THE place to be to witness this event. The campaign and a special eclipse website highlight viewing location information in the five regions that will experience the path of totality, a variety of attractions and special eclipse-related events happening across the state across its digital platforms including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter/X. A downloadable special edition eclipse poster is also available, created through I LOVE NY's partnership with acclaimed artist and professional astronomer Dr. Tyler Nordgren. Visit iloveny.com/eclipse for viewing locations and additional safety tips.

To complement any eclipse travel or viewing experience, I LOVE NY created a special eclipse playlist on Spotify, featuring songs that both reference the eclipse or New York State, or are eclipse-adjacent. From classics like Bonnie Tyler's “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles, to David Bowie's “Starman” and Taylor Swift's “Welcome to New York,” more than 80 curated songs are available to provide as the ideal total solar eclipse soundtrack.

Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers on Preparations for Total Solar Eclipse

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “New York’s public safety agencies have worked over the past 18 months to ensure this once-in-a-lifetime event is safe and enjoyable for all. We’re asking visitors and New Yorkers alike to do their part and pack their patience — hundreds of thousands of people are expected and there will be traffic, so leave extra travel time, stock your car with snacks and water, and consider staying late to experience all that the communities within the path of totality have to offer.”

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “At Governor Hochul’s direction, our forces at the Department of Transportation have been preparing for the eclipse for many months, and now we are in full execution mode. Extra HELP and tow trucks are patrolling the roads to assist motorists in need and the Department will have all hands on deck to make sure we do all we can to keep the state highway system safe. I urge all New Yorkers to enjoy this natural wonder - but do so, safely. Leave early, be prepared for traffic delays - bring extra food, water and blankets and don’t forget your eclipse viewing glasses. Please remember to not park on the shoulders of the road, and most importantly, pack your patience. A total solar eclipse is a generational occurrence and I’m greatly looking forward to joining thousands of New Yorkers on Monday for this special celestial experience.”

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “The April 8 total solar eclipse is shaping up to be a very exciting event for residents and visitors alike, especially for the many communities within the path of totality. Under Governor Hochul's leadership, New York State continues to promote a safe eclipse experience by urging travelers to plan ahead, observe local guidelines, and enjoy some of the many eclipse events planned throughout the state to celebrate this remarkable celestial exhibit.”

State Park Commissioner Pro Tempore Randy Simons said, “Our State Parks are ready to welcome visitors from all over for this once-in-a-lifetime event. State Parks staff and Park Police have been working diligently with local and state partners for over a year planning for a safe and memorable day. We encourage people coming to our State Parks to get to know the guidance, be patient and follow direction from staff to ensure a pleasant day for all.”

Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Frank G. Hoare said, “As we welcome visitors from around the globe for this rare event, it is paramount to emphasize the safety of travelers utilizing the Thruway to reach their destinations. The dedicated staff at the Thruway Authority have diligently prepared for this weekend for well over a year and are fully equipped to address any traffic issues or emergencies. Motorists are strongly advised not to stop on the highway at any time unless it is an emergency. Exercise care when traveling and find safe, designated viewing and parking areas. Arrive early, stay late and drive safe.”

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Making New Yorkers and visitors alike enjoy the eclipse safely is our top priority. DEC continues to encourage visitors to avoid the backcountry in the Adirondacks and instead enjoy one of the designated viewing opportunities throughout the path of totality. Recent snowfall, combined with warmer temperatures and spring conditions on higher elevation trails, make for hazardous conditions with heightened avalanche potential in some areas. DEC Forest Rangers will be stationed at multiple trailheads to help educate the public about these dangers even for the most experienced hikers.”

State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, “It is my hope everyone has a joyful and celestial experience for our eclipse. The most important thing you can do when watching the solar eclipse is to make sure you have a good way to protect your eyes. “Regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, aren’t enough to prevent damage that can be caused by looking directly at the sun, even if it’s for a short period of time. It’s important to wear ISO certified solar viewing glasses, which should be free from scratches and other imperfections.”

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
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