Missouri and Illinois determining the economic impact of eclipse - KMOV.com

Missouri and Illinois determining the economic impact of eclipse

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Thousands packed Saluki Stadium to watch the total solar eclipse. Credit: KMOV Thousands packed Saluki Stadium to watch the total solar eclipse. Credit: KMOV
KMOV.com -

Missouri and Illinois are crunching the numbers in an effort to determine the economic impact Monday's total solar eclipse had on the area.

In Washington, Mo., about 5,000 people filled the fairgrounds, and there's more unaccounted for in the rest of the town.

Festus' population is 12,000, but on eclipse day, out-of-towners nearly tripled that number.

More local towns also saw a vast increase in visitors, and the impact is still to be determined.

In the fall of 2014, the St. Louis Eclipse 2017 Task Force was formed to get ready for Aug. 21. At that time, there were only about 16 people and perhaps a dozen organizations involved.

"We ended up with 100 organizations and over 300 people, exceeding what we hoped for in November of 2014," said Rich Heuermann of the St. Louis Eclipse 2017 Task Force.

Three years ago, the task force knew what was coming would be special.

Volunteers put in thousands of hours and provided thousands of glasses to schools around the area.

As for a task force for the 2024 eclipse, it's still unclear at this time.

"We'll have to see when the dust clears because a lot of us are pretty tired from this," said Heuermann.

But, never say never. 

"It was spectacular and I'm ready for 2024, let's go," said Heuermann.

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