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Dallas leaders address total eclipse plans for traffic, emergency response, trash services

Dallas officials say they are ready for the total eclipse
Dallas officials say they are ready for the total eclipse 01:43

DALLAS — We're T minus six days from the total solar eclipse, and Dallas city leaders said Tuesday that they are ready. They expect Dallas to be extremely busy, starting as early as Friday. They want residents to have their glasses, be prepared, and be patient in anticipation of this once-in-a-lifetime event.  

1:40 p.m. to 1:44 p.m. next Monday will be showtime, but Dallas leaders are anticipating a packed city all weekend. They said Dallas hotels are 99 percent full, and there could be hundreds of thousands of visitors in the city.

"The number one thing I want people to know is that they need to make a plan for what they're going to do that day. Even if they're not out to enjoy the eclipse, if they are out and about that day, then they might experience some traffic issues," said Travis Houston, director of the Office of Emergency Management.

Traffic is a chief concern, so they're asking residents to stay off the roads on Monday if possible. And, if you do have to drive, they said to be sure that you have a full tank of gas, and don't stop in the middle of a street or highway to watch the eclipse.

"We need to ensure that our first responders can respond to emergencies and make their way to local hospitals," said Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia. "Our priority is the safety of the people on our roadways and across our city for this event and those that may be calling for help at this time."

"While it's great that we've got everyone here, it's going to add some stressors to our systems," said City Council Member Gay Donnell Willis.

Chief Garcia said there will be additional first responders on the streets, and they've cancelled discretionary time-off in preparation. The city's emergency operations center will be activated, and they'll follow the weather closely and will utilize the outdoor warning system if necessary. They want residents and visitors to enjoy the historic day - but safely.

"So plan in advance on where you're going, be prepared to try and get there early and stay late," said Houston.

The city's Department of Sanitation also announced that there will be no collections on Monday. All garbage and recycle collections next week will be delayed by one day. 

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