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Miami Valley organizations preparing for the Great American Eclipse

Miami Valley organizations preparing for the Great American Eclipse (WKEF/WRGT)

MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) – Just days out from the solar eclipse, some cities are preparing for the event as if it’s a natural disaster.

Areas in Idaho and Oregon have issued emergency declarations, and the Red Cross is setting up emergency shelters along the east coast.

There’s a different picture being painted in the Miami Valley, as the EMA, Dayton Police and National Guard all said that none of them are doing anything different to prepare.

But some schools decided to take a different approach.

Taking a gaze at the eclipse overhead is harmful, and the Xenia school district knows the draw can be too tempting to ignore. Instead, they’re closing their doors.

“Yeah, that was a good idea because, especially for elementary, there would be a lot of kids in the hospital,” Xenia student Khanya Walker said.

With no way to protect students from damaging their eyes on the ride home, the schools gave the order to close it down for the day, but they’re one of the few places changing protocol.

Truck companies are urging drivers to pull over and wait out the eclipse, in case other motorists aren’t paying attention.

“Resist the urge if you are going to be driving,” Matt Bruning with ODOT said. “Just drive. It’s going to look like nighttime in other parts of the state.”

He said some of their road work will come to a halt in the darkness.

“We are going to pull them off the roadway in some parts of the state,” Bruning said, “just as a proactive way to keep our folks safe.”

As long as drivers are protecting not only their eyes, but those around them.

“Most importantly, don’t try wearing the eclipse glasses while you’re driving,” he said.

Walker is still searching for an elusive pair of those glasses.

“I kind of wanted to get the glasses,” she said, “but I was like, uh, they’re so expensive.”

The Xenia high schooler will be home enjoying her day off, keeping her younger brother’s eyes out of the sun. Dayton Christian also made the call to cancel school.

For now, other places including the Dayton Airport will remain open as usual.

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