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What you need to know about the 2017 Eclipse

The sun is expected to be 97 percent covered by the moon at 1:14 p.m. Monday August 21.

August 21 will be America's eclipse. It'll be the first time in 99 years that day will turn to night from the West Coast to the East Coast.

There's a narrow 70-mile-wide path of complete darkness, known as totality, but the entire country, including the Tri-States, will see an unbelievable spectacle.

"Most of the United States will see at least an 80-percent eclipse," said Linda Zellmer, Government Information Librarian at Western Illinois University. "Quincy will be 97 (percent), here in Macomb it'll be about 96 (percent). But areas in Missouri it will be a total eclipse."

You can find the specific time of the eclipse in your area by viewing this interactive map created by NASA.

Traffic and strain on infrastructure is by far the biggest concern for many planning on heading out to see the eclipse.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, two-hundred million Americans live within a day's drive of totality, and central Missouri is expecting a lot of visitors leading up to the event.

"Missouri alone is expecting up to one million out-of-state guests during the solar eclipse," said Matt Hiebert of MoDOT. "While they'll be coming in at different times of the week, they'll all be leaving at pretty much the same time."

MoDOT will be suspending road construction projects that weekend to help limit congestion.

While you can't do anything about traffic, keeping yourself safe during the eclipse is totally in your hands.

"You can still get permanent eye damage from looking at the sun that is almost totally eclipsed," Zellmer said.

One of the easiest ways to safely view the eclipse is with special glasses to protect your eyes from the harmful solar rays. NASA warns of deficient glasses being sold online.

But there are also other ways to view the eclipse with things laying around your home.

"I found this tube in a neighbor's trash actually a few weeks ago," Zellmer said. "I covered the top with aluminum foil, but since I kept poking holes in the aluminum foil with my fingers, I put some heavy paper over the aluminum foil. Then took a toothpick and just poked a small hole into it and then rolled the toothpick a little so that I got a really round hole. Then in the bottom I put a piece of white paper."

This home-made solar viewer is a safe way for anyone to view the eclipse.

"It's something the kids could do," Zellmer said. "If you cover this with white paper they could even decorate it."

As for drivers, MoDOT warns of pedestrians and drivers that may be distracted while driving. For those wanting to watch the eclipse find a safe place to do so.

"Don't pull over on the side or shoulder of a busy highway or interstate," Hiebert said. "Traffic may not see you, and drivers may be foolishly trying to take a picture of the eclipse."

This biggest thing is to be stay safe during the eclipse.

"So please, if you're going to view it, view it safely," Zellmer said.



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