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Military and Defense
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Eclipse Costs Top $260,000

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Rajah Bose
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File photo. The Oregon Military Department is requesting an extra $260,000 to pay for the costs of managing crowds during this summer's eclipse.

This summer’s total solar eclipse in Oregon came with a price tag. The Oregon Military Department is requesting an extra $260,000 to pay for the costs of managing crowds during the August 21 event.

The agency’s deputy director, Dave Stuckey, told lawmakers Tuesday that the bulk of the money will pay for Oregon National Guard soldiers called into active duty.

“We activated 155 soldiers and Air Guard personnel. And a whole mess of Humvees. Forty-eight Humvees, two Blackhawk helicopters, two Lakota helicopters,” Stuckey said. “We wanted to be able to respond and help just in case.”

In the months leading up to the eclipse, emergency management officials warned that huge crowds coming to Oregon would clog highways and stretch first responders to their limits. But aside from a few traffic jams, the eclipse largely came and went uneventfully.

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Credit Rajah Bose
File photo. About two hours after this summer's solar eclipse ended, cars lined up for miles on I-84 east of Baker City, Oregon.