Published On: Sun, Mar 31st, 2024

When the solar eclipse arrives, NY prisons will be locked down

When the solar eclipse arrives, NY prisons will be locked down
When the solar eclipse arrives, NY prisons will be locked down


Preparations for April’s solar eclipse have ramped up as the highly anticipated astronomical event nears — those preps, it turns out, include New York’s prisons.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision announced its plans to cancel visitations at nearly two dozen facilities in the path of totality on April 8.

In total, the department said 23 facilities “will experience total darkness ranging from approximately one and a half minutes to approximately three and a half minutes.” Those sites will be closed to visitations all day, while facilities not “directly” in the path will end visits early at 2 p.m.

The DOCCS solar eclipse plan doesn’t just impact visitions. According to Hell Gate, a “system-wide lockdown” will be put in place during the eclipse “as a safety precaution.”

A memo issued by the department earlier this month reportedly states that all persons in DOCCS custody will be locked in their housing units between 2-5 p.m. on April 8, Hell Gate reported. Despite this move, the department allegedly made a large purchase of solar eclipse safety glasses to distribute to the incarcerated population on the day.

April’s event will be the first solar eclipse in almost a century, and New York has been preparing for this moment for months.

Gov. Kathy Hochul shared earlier this year the state’s plan to ensure a unique, safe and inspiring experience for the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and visitors who plan to experience the event throughout New York.

Last week, the Democrat launched a statewide effort to protect enthusiasts, in part by distributing limited edition eclipse glasses at 30 locations throughout New York.

“The total solar eclipse will be a once-in-a-generation experience for our state, and it’s critical that New Yorkers have the tools and information to enjoy it safely,” Hochul said in a statement announcing the plan. “From heightening awareness of scams to providing thousands of New Yorkers with eclipse glasses, I’m focused on giving everyone the resources they need to safely experience this extraordinary event.”

When is the eclipse?

During the afternoon of April 8, 2024, a total eclipse will encompass the western and northern parts of New York State. In less than 15 minutes within a 3:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. window, the moon will pass between the earth and sun, turning day into night for 1 ½ minutes to 3 ½ minutes.

The roughly 100-mile wide path of totality will enter in the southwestern part of the state just after 3:15 p.m., and will depart northern New York just before 3:30 p.m. Cities and towns within this path include Jamestown, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Watertown, Old Forge, Lake Placid and Plattsburgh. The entire event will last for up to 2 ½ hours, marking the time the sun is first obstructed to the last moments when the moon’s shadow is cast.

For other areas of the state that are outside the path, there will still be quite a celestial spectacle. The minimum coverage in the state will be on Long Island, with the sun being shadowed at 88 percent there. New York City will see 89 percent coverage, with 96 percent in the Capital Region.


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