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Total eclipse masses yet to arrive to Oregon coast

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 8/20/2017 Jefferson Graham
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NEWPORT, Ore. — The masses for the first sighting of the Great American total solar eclipse have yet to appear on the coast.

The big event begins Monday at 10:16 a.m. PT, visible first here, and concluding 90 minutes later across the country in Charleston, S.C.

Officials were bracing for a huge influx of pilgrims to this small (10,000 population) coastal city, but as of Saturday, the streets in the normally busy waterfront area were about average for a summer day.

“I thought there would be a lot more people here, especially on a weekend,” said Jon Moyles, who drove from Spokane, Wash., to see the eclipse from the beginning.

Newport is in the “Path of Totality,” the many state spread where folks will get to see the total eclipse, when the moon slips in front of the sun briefly and morning goes from light to dark and back to light again.

From Oregon, the total eclipse will move to Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina.

The expected masses to coastal Oregon for the eclipse have yet to appear. Small crowds in Newport, Oregon on August 19, 2017. © Jefferson Graham The expected masses to coastal Oregon for the eclipse have yet to appear. Small crowds in Newport, Oregon on August 19, 2017. Some 1 million people are expected to visit Oregon to see the eclipse, but most are going inland, to places like Madras and the Salem area, because the skies will more likely be clear, and thus, they will have a better chance at seeing the eclipse in its totality.

According to weather.com, the forecast for Monday at 10 a.m. in Newport is partly cloudy, and 57 degrees, compared to sunny and 92 degrees in Madras.

Kenny Adair, who drove to Newport from nearby Portland, Ore., didn’t mind the lack of crowds.

He bought himself 6 souvenir eclipse hats from the “Made in Oregon” store by the waterfront, and was getting ready to distribute them to his family members.

“I figure at some point there will be mass crowds and bumper-to-bumper traffic, but I hope it doesn’t occur,” says Adair.

 

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