St. Joe to Cape Girardeau: Ready to see sun go dark in total ecl - KCTV5

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St. Joe to Cape Girardeau: Ready to see sun go dark in total eclipse

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Fourth graders at Clardy Elementary School in Kansas City practice the proper use of their eclipse glasses in anticipation of Monday's solar eclipse. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) Fourth graders at Clardy Elementary School in Kansas City practice the proper use of their eclipse glasses in anticipation of Monday's solar eclipse. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
ST JOSEPH, MO (KCTV/AP) -

Rural Missouri is preparing for its moment in the sun. Check that: Its moment out of the sun.

A diagonal 300-mile-long, roughly 70-mile-wide stretch from St. Joseph to Cape Girardeau will be in what's called the "path of totality" that will offer the best viewing of the total eclipse on Monday. It's the first total eclipse of the sun in 99 years that will be visible coast-to-coast in the U.S.

Missouri tourism officials expect up to 1.3 million visitors for a glimpse. Hotel rooms in prime viewing spots are mostly sold out.

Much of the best viewing is in rural areas. St. Louis and Kansas City are not in the path of totality. The Missouri Department of Transportation warns that traffic could be congested in places where it normally isn't.

The convoy to St. Joseph started early Monday morning as cars began to pile onto Interstate-29.

Interstate-29 is one of the main thoroughfares as viewers seek out their prime spot to watch the once-in-a-lifetime event.

Kansas City Communications Director Chris Hernandez says those driving north should plan to be at their destination when the eclipse arrives and not to pull over to watch from the side of the road.

"So, if you are traveling anywhere, especially in the Northland or on the major highways, just be aware that a lot of people will be coming through town," Hernandez said." "It might take you a little longer to get here or there depending on where you are going, just like any big event."

"Imagine you’re heading out on I-70 as people are arriving for a Chiefs game at Arrowhead," he added. "It's going to be that kind of congestion in some places."

Hernandez says the city will be making sure people stay safe on the roadways.

"We will have some people monitoring the traffic movements. A lot of that really involves more of the highway system than the city streets, but we will be aware of what's happening and keeping an eye on things," Hernandez said.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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