SALEM, Ore. --- Businesses are beginning to pull the plug in Salem for Aug. 21. They are telling employees to stay home and announcing they will stay closed for the day, due to the eclipse and the chaos expected to come along with it.
One of those companies is the Oregon Driver Education Center.
“They wouldn’t really be doing any driving,” said CEO Andre Crites.
The company is the largest driving school in Oregon with 600 students from Salem to Portland and 60 employees. But the mostly young drivers will not take the wheel on Monday.
Crites will keep his medical transport service closed as well.
“Because of the expected traffic, we’re going to close. A lot of our business is being out on the road with students or with the medical transports. So we’re just gonna shut it down and make sure everyone gets to where they need to be and that they get to enjoy the time with their friends and family,” he said.
Another Salem company, Garten Services, will also stay closed.
The nonprofit helps 500 disabled adults hold down jobs. Leaders believe Monday will just be too much.
“We want to give our people a chance to be at home, enjoy the eclipse with their families and hopefully not add to the possible traffic congestion that’s out there,” said company spokeswoman Lori Omara.
She also mentioned something we’re hearing a lot in Salem.
“You know I’m actually real curious to see if it’s going to be as crazy as everyone says. So, I’m almost anticipating that as much as the eclipse,” she said.
But many are not taking chances.
Salem is where a majority of Oregon’s 40,000 state employees come to work each day.
For the eclipse, they are being told to work from home if they can or to carpool if they must come in.
And even in Portland, outside the path of totality, Portland Community College will close its four campuses for the day. With so many people coming to see the big event, traffic could be nasty in Portland too.