Northwest Missouri prepares for 2017 Great American Eclipse - KCTV5

Northwest Missouri prepares for 2017 Great American Eclipse

Posted: Updated:
ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share
A total solar eclipse is seen in Belitung, Indonesia, Wednesday, March 9, 2016. A total solar eclipse was witnessed along a narrow path that stretched across Indonesia while in other parts of Asia a partial eclipse was visible. (AP Photo) A total solar eclipse is seen in Belitung, Indonesia, Wednesday, March 9, 2016. A total solar eclipse was witnessed along a narrow path that stretched across Indonesia while in other parts of Asia a partial eclipse was visible. (AP Photo)

The "Great American Eclipse" — a total eclipse of the sun — is expected to draw thousands of people to northwest Missouri when it darkens the skies in August 2017.

Experts say the path of the eclipse will give St. Joseph the best view in the state, going dark for more than 2 minutes.

Eclipse enthusiasts are already making plans. Isobel McGowan, owner of Shakespeare Chateau Inn & Gardens in St. Joseph, said her bed and breakfast is already sold out for Sunday, Aug. 20 and Monday, Aug. 21, with one caller coming from Spain, The Kansas City Star reported.

"The eclipse community has been salivating over this one for 20 years," said Dan McGlaun of Indiana, who runs the eclipse2017.org website. "You don't have to go to Mongolia. And if you live in Kansas City (especially north of the Missouri River) you could potentially watch it in your jammies from your deck."

The last time the Kansas City area saw a total eclipse this close was in 1806 and the next time will be 2205.

The "path of totality" will clip northeast Kansas and cut across Missouri, bisecting both Kansas City and the St. Louis area. During the eclipse, St. Joseph will go dark for 2 minutes and 38 seconds, one of the longest times in the nation. Nearby Plattsburg, Lathrop and Lawson will get 8 seconds less. The longest viewing time in the country is 2 minutes, 41 seconds, just south of Carbondale, Illinois.

Most of the Kansas City area will see a 99.9 percent eclipse, while Johnson County, Kansas, will get a 99.4 percent eclipse.

In 2012, more than 50,000 people visited Queensland, Australia, to see an eclipse.

"A lot of people are going to stay in Kansas City and drive up to St. Joe," said Michael Bakich, senior editor and photo editor of Astronomy Magazine. "It's a terrific economic opportunity for Kansas City."

Bakich, who ran the planetarium at the Kansas City Museum from 1989 to 1997 and now lives in Milwaukee, is already organizing a free eclipse watch party at St. Joe's Rosecrans Memorial Airport and has people coming from Florida, Texas, Arizona and Wisconsin.

"The (middle of the) path runs right across the approach end of our runway," airport general manager Abe Forney said. "If you're into astronomy, this is the spot."

Beth Conway, a spokeswoman for the St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the city will have other watch sites.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.