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For more information, contact Senior Communications Specialist Marcia Johnson at (816) 387-2495.

August 15, 2017 05:04 PM
Totality Preparations

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – In just six short days the sky will darken in St. Joseph and across Missouri. St. Joseph residents have prepared as best they can as they and thousands of others plan to enjoy eclipse events across the city. But they have to get to the events first. That’s where a great deal of planning comes in.

MoDOT, along with other regional, state and national agencies, has been planning for months to handle the large influx of visitors to St. Joseph for this rare total solar eclipse. Many of these visitors will not be familiar with the best routes to get to their event. To help them and local residents out, MoDOT has created a website with preferred routes to three of the larger planned events in St. Joseph. They may be found at www.modot.org/northwest/SolarEclipse. There are links and maps for the events at East Hills Mall, Remington Nature Center/St. Jo Frontier Casino, and Rosecrans Memorial Airport, as well as links to the St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau website and MoDOT’s statewide eclipse website.

Extreme traffic congestion is anticipated. MoDOT will also have staff prepositioned at several key intersections around the city, as well as in Cameron, Chillicothe and other cities in the path of totality. They will do their best to keep traffic flowing as smoothly as possible. The traffic plan does not include any road closures, however, should traffic back up onto the interstates at any interchanges, brief ramp closures may be necessary to clear the queue. All agencies involved in this effort, MoDOT, law enforcement, SEMA, and many more are working to keep everyone as safe as possible during this unique event.

Motorists can help each other out in several ways:

  • Plan your route ahead of time
  • Ensure you have a full tank of gas and adequate supplies, should you become stranded
  • Travel early and stay late after the event has ended
  • Do not stop on highways or park on highway shoulders, roadsides or medians to view the event
  • Turn on your headlights and do not rely on automatic headlights
  • And, while it may seem obvious, do not wear your eclipse glasses while driving

The event is much longer than the anticipated two minutes and 38 seconds of totality. The path of viewing for the solar eclipse in Missouri will cover more than 300 miles of the state. The moon will begin to eclipse the sun around 11:45 a.m. Totality enters Missouri over St. Joseph at 1:06 p.m. and will exit near Perryville at 1:21 p.m. The moon will move completely off the sun, ending the solar eclipse, around 2:45 p.m.

This is a rare event that many people will only get to see once in their lifetime. Prepare ahead of time, exercise patience with fellow eclipse enthusiasts and motorists, follow safety guidelines both while driving and while viewing the eclipse, and most importantly enjoy this extraordinary event.

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