April Fool's, Entertainment

Governor Issues Eclipse Alert

Drawing of a total solar eclipse. Eclipses can be dangerous due to cows jumping over the moon who have lost their way.

MONTPELIER, PLAINFIElD – Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) advises all Vermonters to stay inside, turn off all lights and close their shades and curtains on Monday, April 8, for the eclipse of the century.

Governor Scott, emphasizing the critical importance of attracting tourists to the state, asked Vermonters to stay off the roads their tax dollars have built and maintained, leaving them open for tourists. He added, “staying inside and turning off your lights will make sure the sky is extremely dark for their eclipse viewing pleasure. As an added bonus you won’t be bumped into by eclipse tourists wearing dark protective glasses that prevent them from seeing anything other than the sun.”

The alert, shared on the Facebook group, Plainfield People warns that, “Starting in the early morning of April 8, eclipse-watchers will arrive here in scattered and increasingly frequent groups at all times up to and (for the tardy) also during the eclipse.”

If they haven’t reached their destination (if they actually even had one) by the time the eclipse starts, they could pull over on the road without looking and leap out of their cars, perhaps even leaving their car in traffic. It will be a bit nuts, especially when the eclipse ends and they all get back into their cars and try to head home at the exact same moment wearing dark glasses that won’t let them see anything.

Millions of predicted out-of-state visitors means millions of extra cars. These tourists aren’t the brightest bulb in the bunch since Vermont is the most likely state along the track of eclipse totality to have cloudy weather. All of them will want to hit the highway at the same time. So parts of Route 2 and Interstates 89 and 91 could become parking lots.

The eclipse advisory recommends:

1. Stay off state highways on April 8. Stay home or walk. Call in sick if you can. And especially stay off the Interstate.

2. Stock up ahead on anything you might need (medications, food, pet supplies) before that day, because everywhere will be jammed, and some items will be massively sold out.

3. Stay off your cell phone, and try to use landlines whenever possible. Leave cell service for visitors. They will not only be making calls, checking GPS, taking photos and videos for upload, and checking the news from their phones, but they will be totally unaware that our cell networks can’t handle the traffic.

4. Try to stay polite to people who, in many cases, will have caused their own difficulties and are probably yelling at you.

5. Be prepared for a knock on your door (especially if you live on Route 2) asking for water, help, or access to your bathroom, as well as people wandering into your field, parking lot or big front yard, if you have one. Most of them will be looking at the sky and not where their feet are walking.

6. Be as helpful as possible to angry people who are yelling at you. Multitudes of people from Hartford, Boston, Providence and everywhere in-between will be in Vermont for possibly the first time. They don’t know about our roads, our marginal cell phone service, our absence of public toilets and the scarcity of police to help them.

7. Call 911 (from a landline) when you see someone in dire trouble. They will probably just be panicking because their phone won’t work, but a person having a heart attack needs immediate attention and transport to a hospital. Make that call.

8. If you live along Route 2 in Plainfield, direct distressed people to (safely) pull off the highway onto the shoulder, and (if they need to) to walk to the Emergency Operations Center at town hall that will be open all day and will have running water, an accessible bathroom and a landline phone.

9. Gas up your trucks, keep your ropes and chains handy, and be prepared to pull visitors out of ditches and muddy fields without being asked.

10. Have fun enjoying the eclipse!

Vermont Emergency Management

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