Traveling for the eclipse

(NBC News) – Madras, Oregon and hundreds of other small towns across America have suddenly become tourist destinations for next Monday’s eclipse, whether they’re ready for it or not.

Casper, Wyoming’s population of 60,000 could nearly double.

“We’re hoping everybody kind of takes a deep breath and understands there’s going to be a lot of different people here from a lot of different areas,” says Jeff Goetz of the Wyomong Department of Transportation.

Most will be coming by car, which is why holiday-like traffic is expected along the path all across the country.

“There will be heavy congestion on the roadways and drivers need to pack their patience and prepare to sit in traffic for long periods of time,” says AAA’s Tamra Johnson.

Highway safety during the eclipse is a major concern.

“Make sure that if the eclipse is starting to occur and you want to watch, pull over to a safe location so you can do so,” Johnson advises.

Stopping on the shoulder of the highway, however, is a bad idea.

“When it starts to go dark, don’t stop on the roadway. Not only is it illegal, you can get a ticket for it,” warns South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper David Jones.

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