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Surveillance camera towers spread throughout Waco in anticipation of eclipse traffic

A surveillance tower
Autumn Jones
A surveillance tower sits on the intersection of Lake Shore and Hillcrest in Waco, Texas.

The city of Waco has placed 21 solar-powered mobile surveillance stations across the city to prepare for traffic congestion during The Great American Eclipse happening on April 8.

If you’ve been driving around town lately you may have noticed red surveillance towers along major roads.

But, don’t worry, the cameras aren’t recording you or tracking your speed.

The city of Waco, using funds from event and emergency budgets, have set up 21 solar-powered remote video towers on the main roads throughout Waco to have maximum awareness during the eclipse on April 8.

Ryan Holt: “None of those typical things you would think about with, you know, the word surveillance. That’s not what they’re there for. They’re really there to provide situational awareness on roadways.”

According to Waco Assistant City Manager, Ryan Holt, Waco is expected to receive anywhere from 100,000 to 500,000 visitors for the eclipse.

The towers allow the city to monitor traffic, especially after the eclipse reaches totality. If traffic congestion occurs, these towers will allow city officials and law enforcement to provide drivers with alternative routes by utilizing the remote video cameras.

Ryan Holt: “When you have anywhere from 100,000 to 500,000 people try to leave locations all at once, you can get significant traffic congestion and so that is where our primary focus is.”

Holt says the city has plans in case an emergency occurs during the foreseen traffic congestion.

Ryan Holt: “We have a great group of professionals in emergency management, the police department, the fire department and a lot of supporting departments. [We] have put a lot of time and effort into preparing for these events. We hope that nothing happens, we hope that everybody has a great time and enjoys the eclipse and is able to travel freely. From an emergency response standpoint, we believe that we are doing the things necessary to prepare for whatever may come.”