Drivers urged not to stop during eclipse

August 21, 2017 - 9:28 am

Emergency responders are urging drivers to not stop on roads or pull off on shoulders to view the eclipse.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that authorities are most concerned about traffic problems during the brief span Monday when the moon totally blocks out the sun. Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott White says the agency will be on the lookout for drivers parking on the highway. He says that is "always a possibility."

The highway patrol will have additional officers stationed on Interstate 70 and U.S. 63 and 54. White says at least one officer will be located every 20 miles on each of the highways to promote safety and mitigate any traffic issues.

The patrol also is reminding boaters to check their navigation lighting, which will need to be lit during the total eclipse.

Rural Missouri is preparing for its moment in the sun. Check that: Its moment out of the sun.

A diagonal 300-mile-long, roughly 70-mile-wide stretch from St. Joseph to Cape Girardeau will be in what's called the "path of totality" that will offer the best viewing of the total eclipse on Monday. It's the first total eclipse of the sun in 99 years that will be visible coast-to-coast in the U.S.

Missouri tourism officials expect up to 1.3 million visitors for a glimpse. Hotel rooms in prime viewing spots are mostly sold out.

Much of the best viewing is in rural areas. St. Louis and Kansas City are not in the path of totality. The Missouri Department of Transportation warns that traffic could be congested in places where it normally isn't.

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