SALEM, Ore. - Following a historic day when thousands of visitors flocked to Salem to view the total solar eclipse, local officials are calling the event a success.
Several first-responder agencies in the area had prepared for months ahead of the eclipse that, by some estimates, would bring roughly 1 million people to Oregon. In Salem alone, city leaders estimated that around 2,300 people camped overnight in 15 different city parks.
Despite the increase in visitors, Salem Police weren’t reporting any major disturbances Monday afternoon. “We couldn’t have asked for anything better,” said Lt. Dave Okada. “People behaved themselves and it was very orderly. We are very happy with it.”
During the eclipse, calls for both police and the Salem Fire Department were below normal.
At Salem Health, hospital leaders started making eclipse plans a year ago. That included bringing in extra beds and setting up triage tents outside the emergency room. Despite all the prep, the extra beds and triage area were not used.
“Prior to the eclipse, and at the eclipse time, we had lower volume than normal," said Emergency Department Manager Nancy Bee. "And then the day continued just as normal within an hour of the eclipse completing."
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management also said the day went well. The traffic leaving Salem was heavy, as expected.
Meanwhile, local businesses weren’t complaining about the heavy traffic. Business doubled at Governor’s Cup Coffee Roasters in downtown Salem due to eclipse crowds.
“From when I was here, we had about two hours literally where the line was to the door,” said manager Ben Serafin. “They were all really respectful and it was great for business. It was a lot of fun.”