As a total solar eclipse nears, roads near a city of Dripping Springs-run event will be closed beginning the morning of April 7 and surrounding traffic is anticipated to increase.

What you need to know

Residents and tourists alike can attend a “sunblock” party in downtown Dripping Springs April 8 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The event will take place on Mercer Street and offer a place to view the eclipse, shop and enjoy local entertainment.

Mercer Street will be closed from the intersection of Bluff Street to San Marcos Street beginning at 5 a.m. April 7 and will reopen at 10 p.m. April 8. Included in the closures will be portions of College Street and Old Fitzhugh Road.

A closer look

An increase of visitors may potentially strain cellular towers, traffic and emergency services. To safely prepare, city officials declared a local disaster March 19.

The declaration activates the emergency management plan and requires property owners hosting events with 50 or more attendees to register with the city so emergency services know where events are taking place. Additionally, Hays County and Dripping Springs emergency management teams will work with the Texas State Guard to provide traffic control and other support April 8.

Travis County officials also declared a local disaster for the eclipse. Campsites and hotels are filling up in the area, and Airbnb officials said Austin and the Hill Country are among the most booked areas in the path of totality for April.

City officials recommend running any errands, such as filling up cars with gasoline and buying groceries, prior to April 8.

What to expect

Eclipses happen somewhere on the planet every six months when one of two specific locations amid Earth’s orbit allows for the sun, moon and Earth to line up. However, only a specific region is in an eclipse’s path of totality about every 200 years, meaning the moon will fully cover the sun for up to three minutes, darkening the sky and causing a slight temperature drop, as previously reported by Community Impact.

Spectators in Dripping Springs will begin to see the eclipse’s path at about 12:15 p.m., and during this time they should use eclipse glasses until totality at about 1:35 p.m. Totality will end at about 1:37 p.m., when residents should wear the glasses once again if viewing the sun.

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