Community comes together to watch eclipse in the park
Many Sandyites forwent the hassle of traveling farther east and showed up to Sandy Bluff Park this morning to view the eclipse at 99 percent totality.
The Sandy Public Library handed out eclipse viewers to attendees, and the city provided doughnuts and refreshments.
For City Councilor Lois Coleman, this was her first solar eclipse experience. Coleman attended the park viewing with her grandsons in tow.
"The last eclipse was in 1979, and I was on the east coast, so I didn't get to see it," she said. "This was my first, and my last. I won't be around in 159 years. It's fun though. I was really surprised by the number of people who came out for this."
City Manager Kim Yamashita and Police Chief Ernie Roberts focused their efforts east this weekend. The duo traveled to John Day to work for the Grant County Emergency Operations.
"It's been pretty quiet," Yamashita said in a phone interview following the eclipse. "We're just starting to see a pick up in traffic. Now it's just trying to get everybody out in a timely fashion. We anticipate it will probably take about 10 hours to get everyone out of the area. We hope to get home soon."
John Day was in the path of totality, so when 10:22 a.m. hit, Roberts and Yamashita joined the community outside to experience the phenomenon.
"I've never seen anything like it," Roberts noted. "It was pretty spectacular."
"It was worth the trip," Yamashita added. "That's for sure."