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Millions Rush To U.S. Cities On Path Of Total Solar Eclipse


A T-shirt on sale in preparation for the solar eclipse on August 21

Millions of Americans were heading to cities along the path of the first total solar eclipse in 99 years that will sweep across the full length of the United States.

Charleston, South Carolina, the last major city on the narrow corridor stretching across the country, has seen an influx of tourists, as have other cities along the path.

City officials on August 20 reported that Charleston restaurants were packed and downtown parking lots were filled as local residents and tourists geared up for the August 21 once-in-a-lifetime event.

Cities along the path of “totality” will experience a couple of minutes of afternoon darkness as the moon blots out the midday sun.

Those hoping to see the actual eclipse with special protective eyewear are counting on good weather conditions, although clouds and scattered thunderstorms are forecast in Charleston for the crucial time period.

Throughout the country, some 12 million residents will be along the path of totality for the "Great American Eclipse," as it is being called.

It will move diagonally across the country, northwest to southeast, leading many cities to hold eclipse-viewing parties and music festivals.

It will first be visible in the northwestern state of Oregon at 9:05 a.m. local time (1605 GMT).

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
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