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local | OPB's Coverage Of The Oregon Solar Eclipse 2017

Visitors Descend On Madras Area For Oregon Solarfest


Traffic on Highway 26 near Madras, Oregon, is often at a standstill as people continue arriving ahead of the total solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.

Traffic on Highway 26 near Madras, Oregon, is often at a standstill as people continue arriving ahead of the total solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.

April Baer/OPB

Thousands of visitors continue arriving in Madras, Oregon, in advance of Monday’s total solar eclipse for the Oregon Solarfest.

Sgt. Bill Fugate with the Oregon State Police said traffic is slowing down on the main arteries.

“We’re seeing heavy volume of northbound traffic on [U.S. Route] 97,” Fugate said. “That traffic really gets congested north of Redmond, coming to areas like Terrebonne. And definitely coming to Madras, you see a significant backup.”

Fugate said other areas of Oregon in the path of the eclipse — like Lincoln County, Salem, Corvallis, and eastern Oregon — are not experiencing significant backups.

Traffic outside of Prineville, on the way to the Symbiosis Oregon Eclipse Festival, has subsided. Crook County officials are working on an exit plan for the estimated 50,000 people attending the festival.

The state patrol strongly recommends reviewing routes on ODOT’s Tripcheck website before traveling and local law enforcement suggests staying off the road Monday and Tuesday unless absolutely necessary.

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