Warnings for residents, visitors ahead of total eclipse - KMOV.com

Warnings for residents, visitors ahead of total eclipse

Posted: Updated:
Credit: NASA Credit: NASA
KMOV.com -

For the first time in more than 500 years, a total solar eclipse will be visible in the St. Louis area this August, and the rare event is expected to draw thousands of visitors to parts of Missouri and Illinois.

The eclipse on Aug. 21 will start in the northwestern part of the U.S. and travel southeast. Between traffic, crowds and sun risks, authorities want to make sure communities are prepared for the event.

KMOV will be ready to bring you the latest breaking news before and during the eclipse. To find out if you are in the path of totality for the eclipse, click here.

TRAFFIC SAFETY

Residents should expect heavy traffic and extremely busy areas across the state. Some parts of the KMOV viewing area will draw thousands of visitors

Commuters are encouraged to plan alternate routes to work on the day of the eclipse and leave early to allow extra commute time.

Because the total solar eclipse is such a rare event in St. Louis, commuters are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and even leave early before getting on the road on eclipse day.

IDOT announced preparations of how they plan on handling the surge of traffic.

HEAVY CROWDS

With the number of guests flooding into the state for the eclipse, businesses should brace themselves for a surge of customers, staffing accordingly. Grocery stores, gas stations, hotels, restaurants, transportation services and urgent care clinics are among the facilities that are expected to see a jump in business.

The large number of people in the area is expected to overload cell services, causing possible disruptions to networks.

Many schools in the St. Louis are are closing for the solar eclipse. A running list of closings can be found here.

READ MORE: Cellphone service could be spotty for rural eclipse-watchers?

SUN AND HEAT RISKS

Emergency officials are warning eclipse viewers to be prepared for extreme heat during the eclipse weekend. Visitors and residents spending time outdoors are encouraged to carry bottled water, sunscreen, medications and a first aid kit.

911 should be reserved for life-saving emergencies only.

Spectators of the solar events also need to be equipped with protective eyewear such as eclipse viewing glasses. Sunglasses DO NOT provide the correct protection for watching the eclipse. Make sure your eclipse glasses are certified as safe before using them.

READ MORE: Eclipse viewers urged to take precaution to protect their eyes

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

Watch News 4 Now

Mouse over player for controls · LAUNCH FULL PLAYER

Powered by Frankly