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Payette County issues eclipse disaster declaration

Posted at 4:42 PM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 18:42:25-04

The Payette County Commissioners have declared a local emergency/disaster declaration -- in anticipation of the total solar eclipse occurring on August 21. The Disaster Declaration is effective starting July 31, 2017 until September 5th, officials said.

“This declaration is in anticipation of the risk to public safety, financial damage, excess cost for labor, cleanup and property damage in Payette County,” Payette County Emergency Manager Lt. Andy Creech. “The declaration activates the response and recovery aspects of local disaster plans and will assist Payette County in responding to any emergencies that arise during the days leading up to and following the eclipse.”

Creech also explained, “The disaster declaration is a step that can be taken in anticipation of a disaster. This step is a precautionary measure that activates response plans in preparation for the event.”

The total solar eclipse will last for 1 minute 41 seconds in Payette, but is anticipated to draw between 10,000 to over 100,000 people to Payette County as they travel towards Weiser.

Payette County officials have been preparing to respond to congested traffic needs, traffic collisions, increased medical calls and fires.

City and County Officials met on July 20 to share their response plans and begin coordinating their resources in preparation for the event.

“When we declare a local disaster, it only covers the expenses incurred by taxing entities and entities that are considered a critical infrastructure. This allows Payette County to adjust budgets and respond as required to the solar eclipse events in a timely manner,” Creech added.

“The local disaster declaration does not provide individual assistance to cover individual, person or private citizens with any of their losses,” he added.