You won’t beat eclipse traffic by taking a boat to work

Solar eclipse is Aug. 21

Authorities expect parts of the Willamette River to get busy as the eclipse approaches since it's in the path of totality, Aug. 14, 2017. (KOIN)

WEST SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — In less than a week, Oregon may see its biggest traffic event in state history due to the solar eclipse.

The roads are going to be a nightmare, so those wanting to see the eclipse and those just trying to get to work are already planning their commute for the day. However, if your plan was to beat the traffic by heading to the water, think again.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office expects water traffic to get pretty hectic as the eclipse approaches.

“Eye on the Eclipse” – a KOIN 6 News special at 8 p.m. Saturday

Many people are planning to head to parts of the Willamette River that are in the heart of the path of totality.

Authorities patrolling the water are most concerned about safety as the river will fill up with a lot of first time boaters for the eclipse.

Deputy Sam Richards said, “Don’t be on the water in the main channels where all the other boats are going to want to drive, get to the side, beach it, watch the eclipse.”

Richards also wants people to be aware that during totality, it will be dark, so boaters will need to have their lights on.

“You need to be seen because if not, you could be hit,” Richards said.

If you do plan on viewing the eclipse on the water, remember to have a life jacket with you as it’s a $265 ticket if you’re caught without one.

Complete Coverage: Oregon Solar Eclipse