Eclipse draws big crowd to Weiser

KTVB was broadcasting live when the eclipse passed over Weiser

WEISER - The total solar eclipse was a big draw for Weiser, Idaho.

Keith Bryant is the co-owner of Weiser Classic Candy. He believes there were 10,000 to 15,000 people in town for the eclipse. That's a huge influx for the town, which normally has just 5,500 residents.

Bryant says "totality was just beautiful," and he can understand why some people chase eclipses all over the world.

The first total solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. coast to coast in nearly a century has come to an end.



Americans across the land watched in wonder Monday as the moon blocked the sun, turning daylight into twilight.

Totality - when the sun is completely obscured by the moon - lasted just two minutes or so in each location along the narrow corridor stretching all the way across the U.S., from Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. It took about 90 minutes for total blockage to cross the country.

Two-hundred million people live within a day's drive of Monday's path of totality. So towns and parks along the eclipse's main drag have welcomed monumental crowds. The last coast-to-coast eclipse was in 1918.

Now that the show's over, it's time to worry about getting home.

Interstate 5 near Salem, Oregon, had bumper-to-bumper traffic almost immediately after the solar eclipse reached its maximum level of awesome. Traffic was also heavy heading from central Oregon to Portland.

The Washington Department of Transportation said in a tweet: "Returning from Oregon now? Good luck. It's really nasty."

The Oregon Department of Transportation has spent days warning eclipse viewers to stagger their departure times, and not all leave at once.

Meanwhile, Idaho State Police is reporting that traffic remains at a standstill in eastern Idaho along both U.S. 20 south of Ashton and U.S. 26 going into Wyoming.  Officials are encouraging drivers to be patient as crowds disperse from watching the eclipse.

LIVE IDAHO INTERACTIVE TRAFFIC MAP

The Idaho Transportation Department estimates there were 30,000 more cars than typical on the roads leading up to the event.

An ITD spokesman says the busiest traffic areas include Interstate 15 between Utah and Idaho Falls, US 93 near the Craters of the Moon National Monument, Highway 95 from Payette to Riggins and Idaho 55 north of Eagle. 

We have also received reports that many mountain areas such as Stanley, Sun Valley and Garden Valley have a steady stream of traffic. ITD anticipates most of these travelers are heading back home this afternoon.


© 2017 KTVB-TV


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