TPD And OHP Provide Support For Counties In Path Of Eclipse

Hundreds of first responders will be in Southeastern Oklahoma for the eclipse happening in just three days. Several Oklahoma counties and towns will be in the path of totality, including Hugo, Broken Bow and Idabel.

Friday, April 5th 2024, 5:30 pm



Hundreds of first responders will be in Southeastern Oklahoma for the eclipse happening in just three days.

Several Oklahoma counties and towns will be in the path of totality, including Hugo, Broken Bow and Idabel.

Eight officers from the Tulsa Police Department are headed south.

The Eclipse will cover Oklahoma in darkness for a few minutes on Monday afternoon.

This historic event is bringing a huge influx of people to the path of totality.

“We’re sending eight officers to Choctaw County. It's a population with 14,000 and they’re expected 100,000 to 200,000.”

Tulsa Police Officer Craig Heatherly will be part of an Incident Management team.

They’ve been preparing for weeks to manage traffic, possible accidents, and even bad weather.

He said a lot of people are setting up tents and most of that area is only two lane roads.

"We could have everything from slight overcast to severe weather with floods and tornadoes," he said. "We have to plan for all those contingencies.”

He said Choctaw County only has one major highway, so first responders will be stationed along the road in case of emergency.

He’ll be at a command center to help coordinate.

“Moving 700 responders to that region is a lot of logistics," Heatherly said.

“The function here for this event is traffic safety," said Trooper Preston Cox. "With that being said, we do have increased personnel for various tasks.”

OHP troopers are coming from all over the state to enforce traffic and respond to any other issues.

“It’s a unique event, but the training and education of OHP provides, all troopers through the academy, everyone is prepared for events like this," he said.

“If nothing happens, great, if something happens, we have plans for everything," said Officer Heatherly.

Some members of the National Guard will also be in that area.

Officer Heatherly said that’s brought up conspiracy theories and he wants to clarify the guard is only offering to help with things like swift water rescue and rural search and rescue.

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