It’s looking like the weather is going to struggle to cooperate for the Eclipse come this afternoon.
That means that it’s possible many of the tens or even hundreds of people already in town could consider fleeing on short notice to find clearer vantage points.
In the latest Monday morning update by the Columbia office of the National Weather Service, forecasters are predicting that the best chances to view the solar eclipse without cloud cover are in the Upstate. The farther South you go in the state, the chances of a cloud-free sky worsen.
And if enough people start fleeing for the Upstate come later today that could mean a “nightmare” on the roads, said Tiffany Wright, a spokeswoman for AAA Carolinas.
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Her advice: Plan ahead where you’re going to view the eclipse. Get where you’re going early. Then stay put.
“Two hours out from the eclipse is not the time to decide where you want to be,” said Sgt. Bob Beres of the S.C. Highway Patrol, who echoed Wright’s advice. “Don’t wait until the last minute to decide you want to go watch it in another part of the state, because you might not make it before the eclipse happens.”
Law enforcement agencies plan to line the highways today, particularly focusing on Interstate 26, which roughly follows the eclipse’s path of totality from the Upstate to the Lowcountry.
But they won’t be reversing any lanes to change the flow of traffic, Beres said. So, if you head elsewhere, you run the risk of being stuck in traffic for hours.