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Totally Slow Traffic Materializes Following Eclipse Totality

As soon as the eclipse ended, heavy traffic began Monday on routes out of Idaho and Wyoming.

Highway maps showed congestion between Idaho Falls and Pocatello, as well as around Alpine, Wyoming. 

“We don’t expect large traffic congestion," said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce. "Our main goal is just to keep traffic flowing and get people home safely.”

Utahns grabbed their sun-viewing glasses and headed to Idaho and Wyoming where they could see a total solar eclipse above cloudless skies. In much of Utah, the moon covered around 90 percent of the sun. In Salt Lake City it was about 92 percent.

The Betts brought a colander, which created a pattern of crescents on paper during the eclipse.

Tanya Platt and her sweetheart decided skip the totality traffic. Instead, they set up camp chairs outside their Salt Lake City bungalow and with some sparkling juice and trail mix.

“We won’t get full coverage," she said, "but it’s still pretty cool to look up and see it. So, we’re just excited, having a good time today.”

UHP beefed up afternoon and evening staffing to cope with the influx, which was expected to continue into the night.


Judy Fahys has reported in Utah for two decades, covering politics, government and business before taking on environmental issues. She loves covering Utah, where petroleum-pipeline spills, the nation’s radioactive legacy and other types of pollution provide endless fodder for stories. Previously, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, and reported on the nation’s capital for States News Service and the Scripps League newspaper chain. She is a longtime member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She also spent an academic year as a research fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the environment, especially hiking, gardening and watercolor painting.
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