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Eclipse watchers stuck in heavy traffic driving home: "Worst traffic I've ever seen"

Solar eclipse travelers clog New England road and more top stories
Solar eclipse travelers clog New England road and more top stories 02:45

Drivers returning home Monday from watching the solar eclipse in cities and towns in the path of totality described traffic jams that were among the worst they'd ever experienced, keeping them on roads all night and into Tuesday morning. 

Indeed, cities and towns in the eclipse's path experienced some of their largest influxes of tourists in their histories, providing an economic boom to states from Texas to Vermont. While eclipse tourists tended to stagger their arrivals during the weekend leading up to the event, many departed roughly at the same time after the eclipse ended on Monday afternoon, clogging highways and local roads.

Traffic on I-89 in Vermont, which links Burlington, a city in the path of the totality, with Boston, and on the state's I-91 was heavy on Monday afternoon, according to the Vermont Agency of Transportation. "Worst traffic I've ever seen," wrote Richard Chen of the venture fund 1confirmation on X, formerly known as Twitter, after visiting northern Vermont to view the eclipse. But, he added, "[I]t was totally worth it."

Along I-75 near Dixie Highway around Perrysburg, Ohio, motorists were stuck in miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic, according to a local media report

Michigan residents who had driven to Ohio to watch the eclipse described their return trips as taking twice as long as they should have, according to WTOL 11. 

The Maine Department of Transportation said the state had 10 times the volume of normal traffic in its western and southern regions Monday evening, according to Fox23 Maine. Most eclipse watchers departed at around the same time on Monday, even though they had arrived at different points leading up to the eclipse, according to The Maine Turnpike Authority.

The Maine DOT had earlier advised visitors to arrive early and leave late to avoid congestion on the roads. 

On TikTok, user @schoolhousecaulk said he had anticipated bad traffic in Vermont and that it was "worth it," despite driving overnight for 150 miles at a "snails pace."

TikTok user @schoolhousecaulk said it took him 13 hours to drive 370 miles back from viewing the eclipse. TikTok

At 5:30 in the morning, he said he finally reached his home in New York City. It had taken him 13 hours to drive 370 miles, he said. 

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