After months of hype, Northwest braces for solar eclipse - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

After months of hype, Northwest braces for solar eclipse

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PORTLAND, Ore. -

After months of hype, it's almost here.

The first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the United States since 1918 is expected to draw up to a million people to Oregon, where the moon's shadow will first make landfall. Crowds have already begun clogging roadways, campgrounds and hotels for hundreds of miles, and a wildfire has forced evacuations in prime viewing areas.

Traffic in central Oregon started picking up Wednesday as 30,000 people poured in for a large festival near Prineville, creating miles-long backups on U.S. 26.

Planners are bracing for more of the same this weekend and into Monday as more tourists arrive.

In neighboring Idaho, up to 400,000 people could show up. Major traffic jams also are expected in Washington state as people try to drive south or east to prime viewing locations.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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