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16 cities & counties in Texas issue disaster declarations for Monday's total solar eclipse

Two North Texas counties issue disaster declarations in preparation of the solar eclipse
Two North Texas counties issue disaster declarations in preparation of the solar eclipse 02:12

NORTH TEXAS — The Texas Division of Emergency Management told CBS News Texas that 16 cities and counties across the state have issued disaster declarations to prepare for Monday's total solar eclipse.

That includes two counties in North Texas: Van Zandt and Kaufman.

Those counties and even those that haven't made the declarations, have been planning for the total solar eclipse for months now.

Kaufman County Commissioner Judge Jakie Allen said he issued the disaster declaration because it would help them receive state resources more quickly if the need arises.

Judge Allen told us the county has 200,000 residents, and they estimate they could have as many as 200,000 visitors this weekend and Monday.

Traffic congestion is a big concern.

He said they'd prefer people not watch the eclipse alongside a main road or highway.

All law enforcement officers will be on duty, more ambulances will be on standby, and the county hopes residents and businesses will do their part to help prevent any issues.

Allen said, "We hope the residents will buy all their groceries and gas beforehand. With the visitors coming in, all of the gas stations, we've asked them to have their tanks full, the grocery stores stocking up early in the week so they can take care of the visitors."

Aside from Kaufman and Van Zandt counties, the Texas Division of Emergency Management said the other counties that have issued disaster declarations include: Bell, Blanco, Burnet, Kendall, Kerr, Lampasas, Milam, Mills, Rains, and Travis.

The cities of Manor, Dripping Springs, Gatesville and Killeen have also filed disaster declarations.

Johnson County's Emergency Management Coordinator Jamie Moore told CBS News Texas while his county won't issue a disaster declaration, officials there have also placed all law enforcement on duty and more ambulances on standby.

The biggest traffic issues may come after the eclipse is over and people return home.

We will have more of our interview with Judge Allen coming up on Eye On Politics this Sunday morning.

We'll also break down the latest on the controversial Texas immigration law, SB 4, which was back in a federal appeals court this week.

We spoke with the author of the state law, Republican State Representative David Spiller of Jacksboro and Democratic State Representative Ramon Romero, who opposed it.

Plus, we go one-on-one with Democratic North Texas Congressman Marc Veasey on border security, help for Ukraine, and the Israel-Hamas war.

Watch Eye On Politics this Sunday morning at 7:30 on CBS News Texas ON AIR and streaming.

Follow Jack on X: @cbs11jack 

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