SEASIDE, Ore. (KOIN) — You might think the beach is the perfect place to set up camp before the solar eclipse, but you’d better think again.
Officials are warning visitors that particularly around the eclipse, it’s not a great idea. The eclipse coincides with a new moon, which will bring very high and low tides to the coast.
“They may end up in a bad spot if the tide comes in,” Justin Parker with Oregon State Parks said.
Usually, camping on the beach in Oregon is only allowed in certain areas, but many eclipse viewers will be visiting from other states and may not realize that. Signs will be posted at beaches in the path of totality to remind people of the tides.
Officials said tides the night before and the morning of the eclipse are expected to be pretty high after starting out low, which can be deceiving. A normal tide is 6-7 feet, but Parker said that number is likely to jump to 9 feet.
“They forget about the tide and go to sleep and are rudely awakened by the water hitting their tent and that’s not the experience we want people to have,” Parker said.
Not only is it a wet wake-up call, it could be dangerous. Someone could get swept out into the ocean and help might be a long way away.
“Emergency services are already stretched thin,” Parker said.
Camping is always prohibited in Lincoln City and Newport, which are in the path of totality, so people shouldn’t be planning to camp there anyway.
“We’re just trying to get the word out to people to make an informed choice,” Parker said.
Camping is also prohibited in the following areas:
- On the beach adjacent to an Oregon State Park
- From the south jetty of the Columbia River to Tillamook Head in Clatsop County
- On the beaches of the following communities: Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Lincoln City, Newport, Bandon and Gold Beach
- In Western Snowy Plover habitat areas. These areas are signed at beach access points.