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Oregon feels the calm before totality

Prelude to eclipse
Clouds partially obscure the sun over Oregon Solarfest in Madras, Ore., precisely 24 hours in advance of Monday’s total solar eclipse. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

MADRAS, Ore. – Traffic to Oregon’s total eclipse zone has been surprisingly light over the past couple of days, but officials say they’re not out of the woods yet.

The traffic flow to Salem and Corvallis on the west side of the Cascades, and to Madras and points eastward on the dry side of the mountains, has been “very manageable,” Lou Torres, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation, told GeekWire today.

“We do anticipate that it’ll pick up later this afternoon, and into tonight and Monday morning,” he said.

After Torres spoke, Oregon DOT and the Oregon State Police reported slowdowns on Highway 97 between Redmond and Madras. Tripcheck.com’s traffic flow map showed troublesome red spots, and traffic through downtown Madras was bumper-to-bumper.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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