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Science & Technology

The Eclipse Is Almost Here -- So Are The Crowds

Using a projection method to view the sun.

The Illinois State Police is urging motorists to be prepared for Monday's eclipse.

For starters... Trooper Joey Watson says you need to plan on a lot of traffic in southern Illinois...especially on Interstate 57, Highway 51 and Route 13.
Secondly, state police urge drivers not to pull over on the side of the road to watch the eclipse and to keep their headlights on during the event.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Patti Thompson says several agencies have been working together. 

"Everybody's very excited about it. Everybody wants to see it.  We're just trying to make sure we have taken all the steps we can, that people can enjoy this event."

County and municipal agencies will be the lead within their jurisdictions. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency will establish a State Unified Area Command in Effingham, where representatives from the state departments of Transportation, Natural Resources, Public Health, Corrections, the Illinois State Police, Illinois National Guard, fire, law enforcement and emergency management mutual aid organizations and the American Red Cross will be staged from now through Tuesday.

Missouri State Parks officials say they can't verify that solar eclipse glasses the agency sold meet safety standards and are warning people not to use them.

The agency on Friday warned people not to use PMS Promo Mart eclipse glasses sold at parks and historic sites in Missouri during Monday's solar eclipse. People who purchased the glasses can return them for a full refund.

Doctors around the U.S. launched campaigns this summer to warn people that they can damage their eyes staring directly at the sun.

NASA, the American Astronomical Society and others are urging eclipse watchers to stick with reputable makers of sun-gazing devices. The society's solar eclipse task force has put out a list of approved manufacturers.

The weather will be a major factor on Monday.

History appears to be on the side of eclipse viewers who are hoping for a clear day to get the full effect of the phenomenon.

The National Weather Service in Paducah says it hasn't rained in Carbondale or Cape Girardeau on August 21st since 2010 and only twice in the past 10 years.