Floridians Plan to Drive North to Total Eclipse

TAMPA (970 WFLA) -- Tampa will only see about 80 percent of the sun covered by the moon in that coast-to-coast solar eclipse a week from today (Monday). No part of Florida will see more than 90 percent coverage of the sun. To see a total eclipse, Floridians must head north or northeast. Julio Soto with AAA Auto Club South in Tampa says, quite a few will be hitting the road this weekend. 

If you want to make a last minute trip, Soto says, don't drive ten hours and then just pull over on the side of I-75, I-85, or I-95.

"(You should be) making sure that you have NOT pulled over on a major interstate or county road, that is just dangerous."

Even worse, Soto says, would be trying to stare at the sun while moving 55 or 70 miles per hour on a major highway, after driving nine or ten hours from Tampa or other parts of the state. Or hundreds of drivers pulling over or stopping in traffic and causing gridlock. 

"If you want to be there for the cone of totality, you should already be well-planted in the area", Soto says. Hotel rooms are hard to come by in many locations, but Soto thinks some may be available near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is in the path of totality.

As another option, AAA is sponsoring a cruise through the eclipse zone that leaves Florida's east coast later this week. Check with AAA for availability. 

Link to AAA Auto Club South

NASA's Maps of the 2017 Eclipse

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