Van Zandt County issues disaster declaration ahead of solar eclipse

VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – The Van Zandt County Judge issued a disaster declaration before the total solar eclipse coming up on April 8.

Texas eclipse map: Which cities will have the best view?

The disaster was declared from April 5-April 9, and the county says the declaration will give government officials more options during that time.

Van Zandt County will be in the path of totality for up to four minutes on April 8 around 12:24 p.m. The county expects a drastic increase in population and a strain on their resources.

“We are expecting a large influx of people, overcrowding of our roads and parking lots, possible fuel and food shortages and possible limited cell phone service,” according to a letter from the county.”

In the letter, the county urged locals to stay home if possible on April 8.

A guide to finding safe eclipse viewing glasses

“We would encourage Van Zandt County residents to stay home and avoid driving if possible on April 8, expect travel delays and know alternate routes, fuel up vehicles, purchase groceries and supplies and refill prescriptions prior to the event,” per the letter.

County Judge Andy Reese also submitted a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott’s office, asking for a state-issued declaration of disaster as well.

“Overall, this event is expected to be of such severity and magnitude that an effective response is beyond the capability of our local jurisdictions and county to manage,” Reese wrote.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to |