Will you be able to call 911 during the solar eclipse? Emergency managers prepare for cell towers to jam (Oregon)

When an expected 1 million people converge on Oregon for next month’s solar eclipse — what many call the most dramatic celestial event viewable from Earth — they will be calling, texting, tweeting and posting selfies of their experience to Snapchat and Instagram.

Perhaps the only people not smiling at the thought of this solar celebration are Central Oregon’s emergency managers, who fear the prolific cell traffic will exceed the bandwidth local cell towers provide and people won’t be able to call 911 to report an emergency.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management is aware of the problem and has been in contact with cell service providers, but because no event of this magnitude has hit Oregon before, there is a lot of guessing involved.

“We are expecting more people in our state for a special event than potentially we have ever had,” said Cory Grogan, spokesperson for the Office of Emergency Management.

 

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