Roads could be packed the day of the solar eclipse

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The August 21st solar eclipse is expected to be a tourist boom for Northeast Kansas, and state agencies are planning now for the increased traffic.

The Kansas Department of Transportation says they can’t predict how many people will actually flock to Northeast Kansas on the day of the eclipse, but some enthusiast’s say it could be thousand.

“We don’t have a specific number, but we want to be prepared for the maximum,” said Nicole Randall, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Transportation.

She said they are working with local, state and federal agencies to make sure the roads are ready for eclipse fans.

“We know there are a lot of events. That there are a lot of festival type of situations going on in some of these smaller towns in Northeast Kansas, because this is going to be a great tourist draw for them,” said Randall.

The Kansas Highway patrol wants to make visitors and locals alike obey the rules of the road.

“We would like to encourage the motorists to not stop along the roadway to view it,” said Trooper Jordan Plachecki. “We have passing traffic at a high speed, especially on the highway, and parking on the side of the road to watch the event just isn’t safe.”

Troopers will be out in force that day, and ask anyone pulled over to move along.

With the best views in the largely rural northeast corner of the state, they also remind you, fill up before you go.

“There are a lot less gas stations in Northeast Kansas than in the metro areas, you want to make sure you have enough gas to get there and back in case you can’t find one,” said Randall.

She said the goal is for you to enjoy the day, without any trouble, “We just want to make sure everybody is staying safe, and that everybody gets to enjoy this great phenomenon.”

They also say if you plan on traveling, make sure you have an emergency kit in your car just in case you get stranded, because it’s expected to be warm outside in the middle of summer.