ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Next week, about 2.1 million people will travel to South Carolina to watch the United States’ first total solar eclipse of the century.
Hotel rooms across South Carolina are already booked and people now turning to home-sharing sites.
“About 6,700 people have booked a room on Airbnb across South Carolina,” said a spokesperson for the company.
Hundreds of small towns including, Columbia, S.C., are suddenly becoming tourist attractions. The capital is home to the longest solar eclipse on the east coast.
“There will be heavy congestion on the roadways,” said Tamra Johnson of AAA. “Make sure that if the eclipse is starting to occur and you want to watch, pull over to a safe location so you can do so.”
But if you do pull over, make sure it’s not on the shoulder of the road.
"Not only is it illegal, you can get a ticket for it,” said Trooper David Jones with South Carolina Highway Patrol.
In North Carolina, Duke Energy is making sure the lights don’t go dark in your home, even though it’ll go dark outside.
“Across the state, we probably have 5,000 customers who have solar panels on their rooftops,” said Randy Wheeless. He is the spokesman for the company.
“The sunnier it is the better the reaction which produces electricity,” Wheeless said.
When the eclipse comes, Wheeless says everything will be under control.
“We got power plants in reserve that will come online when that solar is starting to dip, so your energy won’t miss a beat.”
Also, you'll want to make sure to get yourself a pair of official solar eclipse glasses, they may be sold out in stores but some local parks and libraries are passing them out for free. Staring at the eclipse can cause thermal injuries to your eyes.
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