When viewers of the total solar eclipse took off their glasses and left various sites in Western Kentucky, a new adventure began.
Traffic jams occurred throughout Kentucky, particularly on roads leadingfrom Hopkinsville, a prime viewing spot for the total eclipse. Drivers complained about delays and stoppages on the Western Kentucky Parkway, Interstate 65 and the Bluegrass Parkway.
Kentucky State Police blamed overheated and stalled vehicles for some of the backups.
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One Lexington resident, Daniel Rau, said Hopkinsville itself was over-prepared for the traffic. He didn’t have any problems leaving Hopkinsville, as police and National Guard members were at every intersection. It was a much different story when he left the city, however.
“Once we left Hopkinsville, there was no police to be seen anywhere,” he said. “It took us 10 hours to go 210 miles, and we didn’t return to our home in Lexington until just after midnight.
“I could never have imagined the sheer contrast between the quality of service of the police of Hopkinsville and that of the state police, who should have been managing the parkway and interstate traffic,” he said.
Many travelers didn’t arrive back to their destinations until Tuesday morning, and others who made it back Monday night couldn’t help but share their frustrations.
Despite the traffic problems, plenty of people said it was well worth it to see the first total eclipse in the country this century.