Emergency managers prepared for traffic jolt due to eclipse - KPTV - FOX 12

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Emergency managers prepared for traffic jolt due to eclipse

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The rush is on as thousands of people make their way to Central Oregon to watch the eclipse, and for months, first responders, the Oregon Department of Transportation and state police have been preparing for the population increase.

Emergency managers in Madras gave FOX 12 an inside look at their coordination center at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.

Inside the center is any and every agency from local, state and federal. They planned to be all in the same room to make sure everyone is on the same page in case something happens.

Emergency managers said, for the most part, things are running according to plan. They said they knew traffic was going to be backed up in Prineville Wednesday and Thursday, and had put in place plans like rerouting traffic and changing traffic signals to help alleviate that congestion.

Emergency managers also said they are very happy to see and hear reports that people who have traveled to this area for the eclipse heeded the warning and came prepared.

"I think what we are seeing is that people might be a little bit surprised that what we have anticipated is actually becoming a reality but they are very, it seems like people are very, they are dealing with it very well," said Julianne Repman with Multi-Agency Coordination Center.

As for when they think the next trouble traffic spot will be, they're expecting Highway 97, which is the major north-south route in Central Oregon, to start seeing that traffic build late Thursday and into Friday.

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