The Great American Eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024 will be the first time people in Texas will see a total solar eclipse in more than 140 years. About 32 million Americans will be in its direct path.
“If you are inside this band, you’re definitely going to see totality. You’re going to see it will get dark.”
Dr. Barbara Castanheira Endl, an assistant physics professor at Baylor University, shows where the moon will completely block out the sun to more than 12 million Texans.
“1:35 it will pass through Fredericksburg, and then 1:40 it’ll be passing through Waco, Dallas is a couple minutes later, and so on and on.”
From Garner State Park to Enchanted Rock, Rachel Flinn, A Texas State Parks and Wildlife specialist, mentioned these as just some of the parks within the direct path of totality.
“We actually have 31 total parks that are going to be within totality. It’s going to stretch from Del Rio up through Dallas-Fort Worth, and, uh, really, it’s not too far from The Permian Basin.”
Parks in The Basin will be outside of totality, but the moon will still cover most of the sun at about 90%.
At McDonald Observatory in The Davis Mountains, Judy Meyer, a program coordinator, expects plenty of visitors.
“We are expecting lots and lots of people because Texas is a, is a big place for people to come to observe the eclipse from out of state.”
As hundreds of thousands of people flood into Texas…”I think you can expect…an enormous backup on the roads.”
Based upon research from the 2017 total solar eclipse, Ryan Dirker, the emergency manager of Waco and McLennan County, explains what a five-hour drive from West Texas to East Texas could look like on the day of the 2024 eclipse.
“There were several cases in The Midwest where a five-hour trip from southern Illinois back to the northern parts of the state, which normally took five hours, took 18.”
“Honestly, if the traffic is going to be that bad, we, we might just miss school for three or four days and come back on Wednesday or Thursday.”
Elisha Ramirez, a native of Odessa, plans to visit her sister near Austin with her daughter to see the total eclipse.
“If you can hang out a day and miss traffic, I would suggest it. And then, you know, just make an extra day out of it and take your kids to the movies or go eat somewhere and just, make a mini-vacation.”
For Endl, it’s worth it…
“I wouldn’t cross the streets to go from 98-99% totality, but I would travel very far around the globe to actually see a total solar eclipse.”
After April 8th, the next total solar eclipse to go through Texas will be in 2077.