Photo courtesy Ochoco National Forest
PRINEVILLE, Ore. - The highly anticipated eclipse event is creating excitement -- and also a huge traffic jam.
If you’re thinking of heading to Oregon -- one of the prime viewing spots for Monday’s total solar eclipse -- you might need to head out early.
Drivers were pretty much at a standstill for hours outside of Prineville on Thursday, but the congestion began on Wednesday. The Oregon State Police reported the narrow stretch of road, Highway 26, was backed up as far as 15 miles for eclipse enthusiasts.
Police tweeted out aerial photos confirming the traffic headache, and is reportedly expecting more than 100,000 people to swarm the area. The Symbiosis Festival, an eclipse viewing event, began on Thursday as well, adding to the congestion. Ochoco National Forest tweeted photos of people waiting outside their cars amid the the standstill.
Prineville police advised drivers to stay inside their vehicles, despite being stuck on the highway, and to remain patient and don’t drive on the wrong lane of travel. They reported at least two motorcycle crashes.
The eclipse is expected to last two and a half minutes and will travel along a path from Oregon to South Carolina.