If you leave for the eclipse Monday, be prepared to wait

SPOKANE, Wash --- If you are driving to the eclipse, we have some advice for you. Do not leave on Monday.

Many of Eastern Washington’s highways are only two lanes, and officials said it might not be enough for Monday’s rush. The 60-mile path of totality does not run through Washington, so you need to go elsewhere to see the full eclipse.

Travelers taking Highway 195 through Washington should be prepared for wait times.

“This is an event that we've never seen before in this area in years and years and years. So we are speculating that we're gonna have more traffic. We're speculating that a lot of people are going to want to travel to the area of totality down in Oregon so we think there might me be more traffic on the highways that go from the Spokane area and Seattle area into Central Oregon,” said Washington State Department of Transportation Public Information Officer, Al Gilson.

The total eclipse may only last a couple of minutes, so leaving Monday morning will cause you some trouble.

“You’re not gonna make it. You’re not gonna find a place to park,” said Gilson.

Officials said to instead plan on leaving early and staying late.

“What we would say is give yourself plenty of time if you're gonna go down there. Try not to - as soon as the eclipse is over - not make a mad rush like you're leaving some sort of sporting event and everyone is trying to leave at the same time. So just make sure your car is packed with necessary things to get you to and from incase you do get stuck in traffic,” said Washington State Patrol Trooper, Kyle Witt.

“More lanes equals more capacity, so if we see an influx of heavy traffic, there’s bound to be more congestion,” said Gilson.

In Oregon alone, they are expecting about a million travelers for the eclipse. So if you are leaving Monday, you may need to leave yourself some cushion room.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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