Ready or not, the total solar eclipse is coming. Charleston city officials said they’re bracing for a busy weekend in addition to Monday’s event.
On Wednesday, Mark Wilbert, Director of Charleston Emergency Management said they are expecting major traffic and adds parking may be a challenge downtown, but they have garages open.
“Our parking garages are open, however, we are not going to allow gatherings on top of our parking garages, that’s just not safe,” Wilbert said. “We’re going to allow people to park, but we’re not going to allow gatherings up there.”
Fifteen city parks will be open and the city will provide cooling stations at Gadsenborough Park and Marion Square.
Mayor John Tecklenburg wants people to enjoy the moment, but said expect the unexpected, as total darkness in the afternoon is also strange for wildlife and animals.
“Absolutely, we’re told that kind of thing happens during an eclipse, and frankly, it was one of our considerations for asking the horse carriages to be off the streets on Monday,” Tecklenburg said. “But yes, that can happen, we don’t have a lot of wildlife in the city, but it can happen.”
It’s no doubt a rare event worth sharing with the world. Wilbert warns people communication may not be so easy, but don’t panic.
“Please expect some disruption in cell service, that’s likely to happen, we see that every year with the bridge run,” Wilbert said. “Despite the best efforts of our cell partners with the large numbers of people taking pictures and videos, you should expect some disruption, if at least, a slowdown.”
The pedestrian walkway on the Ravenel Bridge will be closed from noon to 4:00 p.m., but will be open to vehicular traffic.