The City’s Police Chief, Fire Chief and Public Works Director held a news conference this morning to discuss measures they are taking to prepare for the eclipse and how they are working together to ensure the safety of city residents, workers and visitors before, during and after the event. They also shared important safety information that everyone should know as they make their plans for August 21.
Because citizens should only call 911 only if they need a uniformed officer to respond to them, Chief Miller is encouraging everyone to download the GPD app and follow the police department on social media to receive real-time notifications about traffic issues and other crucial information leading up to, during and after the eclipse. The app is available for iPhone and Android by searching “Greenville Police Department.” As citizens are deciding where they, their family and/or employees will view the eclipse on August 21, everyone is urged to heed the following safety points:
Viewing the eclipse:
• Do not gather on rooftops - gathering on the rooftop of most buildings could result in the roof collapsing
• Commercial and residential decks, porches and balconies are also danger zones – manage people and weight your deck, porch or balcony to avoid collapse
• Do not view the eclipse or wear eclipse glasses while driving a vehicle
• Do not stop in the roadway or stop on the side of the road to view the eclipse – arrive at your viewing location early and/or park in a parking lot
Planning for your family:
• Buy groceries and fill your car up with gas before the weekend
• Refill prescriptions ahead of time so you will have needed medication on hand
• Determine how you will communicate if cell service is down
• Identify a meeting location in case you get separated from one another
Planning for your business:
• Encourage employees to fill their cars with gas before the weekend
• Be prepared for the impact of heavy traffic on employees’ ability to get to and from work
• Review delivery schedules with suppliers and adjust to avoid heavy traffic times and areas
• Be prepared for more cash transactions and potential challenges with credit/debit card transactions
• Think through your security plans to protect your employees and interests
With an unprecedented number of people expected to converge on the city, parking will be limited downtown and streets will be congested. While some public parking will be available in City parking facilities, the top floors of all City garages will be closed beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 17 and will remain closed until after the eclipse. As parking garages fill on the day of the eclipse, motorists will be directed to other facilities and alerts will be sent from the GPD app and periodically posted on Fairway Outdoor electronic billboards around the city and county.
Only two public viewing locations have been designated for the day of the eclipse – the Poinsett Garage (25 W McBee Ave, adjacent to Westin Poinsett Hotel) and the Commons Garage (60 Beattie Place, adjacent to Hyatt Regency). Beginning at Noon on August 21, a limited number of pedestrians will be admitted on the top floor of the two garages. Wristbands will be issued to each person and only individuals wearing a wristband will be allowed access to the top floor. Eclipse glasses will not be provided and there will be no public restrooms on-site. Tailgating chairs will be permitted, however, umbrellas, tents and coolers will not be allowed.
Neither pedestrians nor vehicles will be allowed on the top floor of any other City parking facilities.
While many of the City’s normal day-to-day operations will be affected on the day of the eclipse, there will be no interruption of residential trash and recycling collection services. Monday pickups will be made as usual. Greenlink service will also operate its regular fixed route and paratransit bus schedule. However, passengers are asked to please be patient as they may experience delays due to increased traffic.