Upcoming Total Eclipse a ‘Once-In-A-Lifetime Event’ in Ohio

FirstEnergy prepared to handle influx of visitors to its service areas in Ohio and Pennsylvania
three women with eclipse glasses

FirstEnergy is gearing up for the April 8 eclipse and expected influx of visitors to its service area with a comprehensive plan to ensure safe and reliable service during this unique event. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime occasion for Ohio, as the last total solar eclipse was seen in the state in 1806, and the next one won’t come until 2099. 

The path of totality, or the area where the total eclipse can be viewed, is expected to be roughly 124 miles wide, spanning Texas to Maine in the United States. Several portions of FirstEnergy’s service area, including most of its Ohio service territory and northwestern Pennsylvania, will be within the eclipse viewing area.

The longest duration point in Ohio will be Avon Lake, Lorain County, which is preparing for upwards of 900,000 tourists for the eclipse, according to the Lorain County Visitors Bureau. 

“Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to flock to the region to witness this rare event, and we believe our system can handle the additional electrical load and deliver safe and reliable power to our customers and visitors,” said Pat Mullin, Acting President of FirstEnergy’s Ohio Operations. 

However, she said this event is not without its challenges.

“In recent months, we’ve put together a plan to address the heavy traffic we anticipate in the communities we serve to help ensure swift response to any potential outage calls our crews could receive,” Mullin said.

FirstEnergy is treating this eclipse like a severe weather event. The company has activated its Incident Command System (ICS) and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to ensure thorough coordination, planning and communications among the entire organization and with local government partners. Because of the anticipated traffic and congestion, the company is also increasing staffing levels across Ohio and western Pennsylvania and strategically spreading out electric company personnel across various substation locations in their service areas to help ensure timely response to potential outages.

In the weeks and days leading up to the eclipse, FirstEnergy personnel will work closely with in-house meteorologists to track the weather leading up to April 8. If severe weather is forecasted before, during or shortly after the event, the company will activate its storm response plan. 

This will allow the company to secure additional resources, including contractor crews and personnel from mutual assistance organizations, and mobilize personnel to areas that are likely to be impacted by potential weather ahead of the event. Additionally, the preparation will allow the company to set up staging sites, if needed, to provide lodging, food services, fuel and other materials for electric company personnel. 

As FirstEnergy prepares for the upcoming eclipse, the company encourages the public to keep the following tips in mind to help ensure their safety:

  • Stay far away from our electrical infrastructure while scouting locations to view the eclipse. This includes substations, transmission rights-of-way, utility poles, pad-mounted transformers and all other electrical infrastructure.

  • Choose open-area locations that are far away from electrical infrastructure if you’re planning or hosting an eclipse viewing gathering.

  • Use proper eyewear to safely view the eclipse. Always inspect your eclipse glasses or handheld viewer before use; if torn, scratched or otherwise damaged, discard the device. Always supervise children using eclipse glasses or solar viewers.


MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Siburkis, (330) 203-8850

Last Modified: March 1, 2024