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Solar eclipse in Vermont: The latest updates

Published April 7, 2024 at 5:12 PM EDT

There were no backcountry rescues on eclipse day

Posted April 9, 2024 at 11:47 AM EDT

It seems the warnings worked: there were no backcountry rescues on eclipse day, said Sue Plant of Vermont Emergency Management.

That's not to say rescue teams weren't prepared, though.

"Our mountain rescue team kind of mobilized themselves into a couple of different corners of town in preparation for some kind of emergency and maybe then having trouble in traffic getting to it, but they did not end up having to respond to any emergencies," said Stowe EMS Chief Scott Brinkman.


Traffic backed up along several major routes

Posted April 8, 2024 at 7:37 PM EDT
Cars fill one side of an interstate highway after sunset
Karen Anderson
Vermont Public
Traffic is backed up for miles along Interstate 89 southbound around Montpelier.

Patience is still the name of the game for driving on many major roads in Vermont as eclipse visitors head home.

Southbound routes are most impacted.

As of about 7:30 p.m., these were among the major state roads to see heavy traffic, according to

  • Interstate 89 southbound from about Richmond to Barre.
  • Route 100 between Granville and Hancock.
  • Route 7 between Charlotte and Ferrisburgh.
  • Interstate 91 between Sheffield and St. Johnsbury, and from Rockingham and Westminster.

Burlington mayor says "no major issues" as traffic slowly exits city

Posted April 8, 2024 at 5:54 PM EDT

Traffic is moving slowly and steadily out of the city, Burlington Mayor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak said at a 5 p.m. press conference.

"We've heard of no major issues throughout the day," Mulvaney-Stanak said. "And if anything, as we've traveled throughout the city — we were down at Oakledge for the totality — people just really had a celebratory, and really chill vibe frankly."

There is no official count for crowd size, but city officials were expecting more than 50,0000 people for the eclipse.

from the field

'Everything aligned': Couple gets engaged during totality

Posted April 8, 2024 at 5:53 PM EDT

A few minutes after the eclipse ended and the light returned to the sky in St. Albans, Lojany Souza and Austin Stewart are crying and hugging in Taylor Park. And it’s not just because they were moved by the eclipse.

Sabine Poux: Did you guys just get engaged?

Lojany Souza: Yes!

The couple is from Winchendon, Massachusetts. Souza said they’re feeling ecstatic.

Two people stand hugging each other outside, wearing dark clothing.
Sabine Poux
Vermont Public
Austin Stewart (left) proposed to Lojany Souza (right) as totality reached St. Albans Monday. They've been dating for seven years, and Souza said the engagement was a surprise.

Lojany Souza: We just experienced the eclipse and then he proposed to me. We’ve been dating for seven years.

Austin Stewart: Since middle school.

Lojany Souza: Since middle school. And he’s the love of my life. I love him with all my heart. I would die for him. I would cut off every limb for him. I would take my heart out for him and give it to him because he’s just my everything. I can’t believe he did — you did this.

Austin Stewart: I love you.

Lojany Souza: I love you too.

A close up shot of two people standing side-by-side, with the person on the right showing a ring on their hand
Sabine Poux
Vermont Public
Austin Stewart surprised Lojany Souza with an engagement as totality was happening in St. Albans. "Everything aligned. Like literally everything aligned today," Souza said.

Souza had no idea the proposal was coming. Stewart says he proposed right as totality ended.

Austin Stewart: Well, I bought the ring probably seven months ago, at this point. I didn’t know when to do it. ... But then their sibling asked to come see the eclipse and I just thought it was the perfect moment.

Lojany Souza: Everything aligned. Like literally everything aligned, today.

For the record, both said the eclipse itself was incredible.

Don't throw away your eclipse glasses

Posted April 8, 2024 at 5:40 PM EDT
A recycling box for eclipse glasses at Crescent Beach Association in Burlington. There are multiple dropoff spots across Vermont for reuse in other parts of the world through the organization Astronomers Without Borders.
Michelle Owens
Vermont Public
A recycling box for eclipse glasses at Crescent Beach Association in Burlington. There are multiple dropoff spots across Vermont for reuse in other parts of the world through the organization Astronomers Without Borders.

A group called Astronomers Without Borders is offering collections bins at the Montshire Museum in Norwich and through Chittenden Solid Waste District, at drop off centers in six towns, along with several locations in Burlington, Shelburne and Essex Junction.

Astronomers Without Borders works to send those glasses all over the world for the next eclipse. Or you can hang on to them for 20 years, if you decide you want to travel to see the next total solar eclipse that passes across parts of North America in 2044 and 2045.

from the field

St. Albans attracts crowds hoping for front-row seat to total solar eclipse

Posted April 8, 2024 at 5:26 PM EDT
A crowd is gathered in a park in a New England city.
Sabine Poux
Vermont Public
A crowd watches the eclipse from Taylor Park in St. Albans.

Visitors came to St. Albans in full force for the total solar eclipse Monday.

Karin Berno, director of the Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce, said she had initially wondered if estimates about number of people were overblown. But with favorable weather conditions forecast in the days before the eclipse, Vermont and other parts of New England became hot destinations for eclipse chasers. And, St. Albans is located right along the center of the path of totality.

A woman smiles under a flag that reads "welcome." She has eclipse glasses and a eclipse-themed shirt.
Karin Berno, director of the Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce, said people from Venezuela, London and all over New England came to St. Albans for the eclipse Monday.

"There have been many, many, many meetings over the year in preparation for this. ... And we all, all the shops have tried to work together to make sure we have great souvenirs and a great presence, and just things for our visitors to do. We just want to make a good impression on outsiders," Berno said.

The chamber set up a table in St. Albans, and Berno said they talked to people from Venezuela, London and all over New England Monday.

A woman stands in store stocked with wine and maple syrup.
Sabine Poux
Vermont Public
Jessica Gaudette, owner of the store As the Crow Flies in St. Albans, said the city this morning was as busy as when it holds the Vermont Maple Festival.

Jessica Gaudette, owner of the store As the Crow Flies, said the city was about as busy as it is during the Vermont Maple Festival, and that a lot of guests were looking for local souvenirs.

A couple stands in front of a sign that says "Saint Albans" in a sunny field.
Sabine Poux
Vermont Public
Bill and Liz Jaeger, traveled to St. Albans from Bergenfield, New Jersey, for the eclipse weekend.

Among the visitors hoping to get a look at the eclipse from St. Albans were Bill and Liz Jaeger from Bergenfield, New Jersey.

It was their first time in St. Albans, and they said they're impressed.

“The people here in St. Albans are awesome. They’re really, really friendly,” Bill said.

The Jaegers said they would be watching the eclipse from Cohen Park.

Two people sit in a park with a large telescope on a tripod.
Sabine Poux
Vermont Public
Greg and Kaye Bakos of Concord, New Hampshire, watched the eclipse from St. Albans Monday.

Greg and Kaye Bakos of Concord, New Hampshire, were also out and about in St. Albans.

Greg, who is part of the New Hampshire Astronomical Society, said he hoped to capture photos of the eclipse. He said he automated his camera to take photos every few seconds. That way, he can enjoy the eclipse with his own eyes while taking photos.


The temperature dropped five degrees in St. Johnsbury during the eclipse

Posted April 8, 2024 at 5:05 PM EDT

The temperature dropped from 63 F to 58 F during the few minutes of total eclipse in St. Johnsbury, according to Mark Breen, senior meteorologist at the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium.

from the field

'I'm impressed': Totality in Burlington

Posted April 8, 2024 at 4:27 PM EDT
A couple wears eclipse glasses over normal eyeglasses in a park with a crowd behind them
Liam Elder-Connors
Vermont Public
Bob Maclay and Karen Lundry traveled from New Jersey to watch the total solar eclipse in Burlington.

In the 15 minutes leading up to totality, everyone in Burlington Battery’s Park was glued to the sky watching through eclipse glasses as the moon inched its way over the sun.

“It’s significantly colder,” said Sean Wadden, of Worcester, Massachusetts. “Early I could feel the beating of the sun on me and now it’s chilly.”

The band in the park stopped playing and everyone went quiet.

As the sun’s final rays were snuffed out by the moon, a cheer went through the crowd.

What looks like sunset sets over a large body of water in the afternoon.
Abagael Giles
Vermont Public
During totality near the Moran plant at the Burlington waterfront.

Karen Lundry and Bob Maclay came from New Jersey to watch the eclipse. As the sky went dark, Laundry exhaled in wonder.

“I’m really happy to be here,” she said. “I’m in awe of nature, and the various things that happen in nature. ... it’s incredible.”

Maclay nodded in agreement. “I’m impressed,” he said. “I was not that eager to do this, but she kept me going and now that I’m here, I think it’s great.”

When totality hit at Ethan Allen Park, the sky over the lake and Adirondacks grew purple. The crowd hooted and cheered.

Andy and Julia Palmer traveled from Seattle, Washington with their two kids for the eclipse. They took a redeye to make it here.

"It did not disappoint.... Worth the trip, really special," Julia Palmer said.

Claire Tindula and Alex Marhefka came from Baltimore with their dog Blue.

"That was incredible! The silvery quality of the light," Tindula said. "As expected, our dog was almost entirely unaffected, expect he used the opportunity of everyone being distracted to eat a cookie."

People sit on orange-red steel beams of a former building, some wearing shorts
Abagael Giles
Vermont Public
People sit on the exposed beams of the old Moran Plant on Burlington's waterfront and look at the eclipse as totality wanes and the light returns at 3:31 p.m.


VT-16 (Eastern Ave) at the railroad tracks in Barton closed

Posted April 8, 2024 at 4:25 PM EDT

VT-16 (Eastern Ave) in Barton, at the railroad tracks, is closed to traffic due to a motor vehicle crash, according to Vermont Emergency Management.

The agency advised travelers through the area to take a different route.


Significant traffic at St. Johnsbury, Montpelier, Waterbury, Middlebury and Newport

Posted April 8, 2024 at 4:13 PM EDT
Cars leaving St. Johnsbury through I-91 following the total eclipse.
Cars leaving St. Johnsbury through I-91 following the total eclipse.

There is significant traffic leading out of towns across Northern Vermont.

I-89 North around Waterbury,
I-89 South around Bolton, Montpelier, and Berlin, US-7 around Shelburne, US-100 near Stowe, I-91 South around St. Johnsbury are among the roads affected.

The total eclipse is over

Posted April 8, 2024 at 3:31 PM EDT

At 3:31 p.m. the total eclipse has left Vermont, though the partial eclipse — visible with eclipse glasses or a pinhole camera, will remain visible until 4:37 p.m.

Totality has reached Vermont

Posted April 8, 2024 at 3:26 PM EDT

The total eclipse has reached Vermont.

Just before 3:26 p.m., the moon's shadow has enveloped Grand Isle and South Hero, followed seconds later by Alburgh, Isle La Motte, North Hero, a western portion of Colchester and a northwestern portion of South Burlington.

Watch Vermont Public's livestream from St. Johnsbury

Posted April 8, 2024 at 2:58 PM EDT
FULL VIDEO: 2024 Total Solar Eclipse LIVE from St. Johnsbury, Vermont

From 3-4 p.m., tune into live coverage of the 2024 total solar eclipse from But Why host and executive producer Jane Lindholm and astronomy expert Mark Breen from the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium. Watch as we observe the effect of the eclipse on the skies above Main Street in St. Johnsbury. As skies darken and the moon covers the sun, Jane Lindholm and Mark Breen will guide you through this celestial event and take audience questions.


Downtown St Johnsbury parking is at capacity

Posted April 8, 2024 at 2:26 PM EDT

Vermont Emergency Management reports parking in downtown St. Johnsbury is at capacity, recommends eclipse viewers seek parking elsewhere.

from the field

After cloud-fueled travel pivot to Vermont, family awaits totality in St. Albans

Posted April 8, 2024 at 1:41 PM EDT
A family gathers outside, smiling for the camera
Sabine Poux
Vermont Public
From left: Prashant, Monica, their dog Spock and son Ved Joshi came to St. Albans from Princeton, New Jersey. Prashant originally planned to go to Dallas, Texas, for the eclipse, but rebooked for Vermont a few weeks ago for weather reasons.

The Joshi family — Monica, Prashant and their son, Ved — traveled to St. Albans from Princeton, New Jersey.

Prashant was going to go to Dallas to see the eclipse, but when they heard about the weather forecast there a few weeks ago, they booked a hotel in St. Albans. They came early this morning and set up chairs by the fountain in Taylor Park.

Prashant is an amateur astronomer. And, he's pretty sure that an eclipse he saw when he was in eighth grade is the reason he can't see very well out of his right eye.

Today, he's planning to view the eclipse through a Seestar telescope, which transmits an image of the sun to his iPad.


Newport City parking at capacity

Posted April 8, 2024 at 1:24 PM EDT

Vermont Emergency Management reports Newport City is at parking capacity, advising prospective eclipse viewers to find another place to park.

Linda Joy Sullivan, mayor of Newport, said on Vermont Edition on Monday that people were arriving from all over the world — including in 90 private planes.

“We have just had nothing but laughter and unity and fun," Sullivan said.

from the field

No eclipse FOMO for these Long Island visitors in Jericho

Posted April 8, 2024 at 1:24 PM EDT
A man and woman stand outside on a sunny day, adjusting a large camera lens with foil laid over it.
Elodie Reed
Vermont Public
Loi Almeron and Joao Carreira say they left Long Island around 2 p.m. Sunday and drove along the path of totality before choosing Mills Riverside Park in Jericho for the total eclipse viewing. After sleeping in their car overnight, they worked on setting up their camera Monday morning. Carreira says he does astrophotography as a hobby, and he was planning to use a star tracker to follow the sun.

A couple days ago, Loi Almeron and Joao Carreira decided they were going to go for it, and make the drive from Long Island to Vermont for the total solar eclipse.

"This is the first time that I felt FOMO about something. And I was looking at the forecast," Almeron said. "On Long Island, it was like 89% coverage. And if I crossed to Connecticut, it was 91. And I was like, not enough, you know, like, people are saying you have to be there."

They drove up all Sunday afternoon, and arrived at Mills Riverside Park in Jericho, Vermont, around midnight. After sleeping in their car, they set up Carreira's camera today.

"Right now I'm trying to align it so that I keep following the sun properly," Carreira said.

Right at 4 p.m., they plan to hit the road back home — along with everyone else.


Significant traffic on I-89 northbound through White River Junction

Posted April 8, 2024 at 1:10 PM EDT
A long line of cars fills a highway in Lebanon, New Hampshire
NH Department of Transporation
Expect significant delays throughout the day on I-89 northbound near the Vermont/New Hampshire border.

I-89 northbound at the Vermont/New Hampshire border through White River Junction, including the I-89/I-90 interchange, is experiencing significant traffic as of 1 p.m., and will likely continue throughout the day, according to VT Emergency Management.


Traffic down to one lane I-91 near Barnet

Posted April 8, 2024 at 12:58 PM EDT

A reported crash on I-91 Northbound between Exits 17 and 18 near Barnet has further impeded eclipse traffic, as the road has been reduced to one lane.

from the field

Burlington's city parking garages are full

Posted April 8, 2024 at 12:22 PM EDT

As of 11 a.m., municipal garages and many parking lots in Burlington were full, city officials told reporters during a press briefing.

About 200 spots were still available at 345 Pine Street, a lot that hosts the Burlington Farmers Market in the summer, and about 950 cars could still fit on Route 127, which the city shut down today to use as a parking lot.

“I think everyone is a bit, a bit taken aback, but also really working hard to make this a great experience,” said Zach Williamson, festival and event director at Burlington City Arts.

A man wearing glasses stands outside speaking into two microphones. To his right, a woman in a black top and glasses.
Liam Elder-Connors
Vermont Public
Zach Williamson, festival and event director at Burlington City Arts, and Mayor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak hold a press conference at the waterfront at 11 a.m.

Williamson and other public safety officials are urging eclipse viewers to stay beyond the end of totality to ease traffic congestion this evening.

Mayor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, who’s been on the job one week, told reporters that the city is buzzing.

“So far I've experienced a lot of happiness and excitement,” Mulvaney-Stanak said. “There's just a great joy and vibrancy on Church Street this morning, and I've never seen that many people in a coffee line before — I was at Muddy Waters and oh my God, I had to leave because it was like 20 people deep.”


I-89 northbound near Waterbury experiencing significant delays

Posted April 8, 2024 at 12:21 PM EDT
Traffic is backed up at Exit 10 on I-89.
Drivers going through Exit 10 on I-89 to Waterbury should expect significant delays

VT Emergency Management reports significant delays on I-89 Northbound Exit 10 to Waterbury as of noon.

from the field

Burlington's T. Ruggs Tavern prepares for busy eclipse day

Posted April 8, 2024 at 11:53 AM EDT

Mike Dunn, owner of T. Ruggs Tavern in Burlington’s Old North End was preparing for a busy day Monday morning.

He’s expecting people will come to watch the eclipse from the back patio.

“It feels like a Phish festival,” he said.

Dunn said he welcomes the business. “I hope everyone has a good time, everyone stays safe,” he said.

A man wearing a blue patterned shirt stands in a tavern with his arms spread out wide. On a table, backs of water, drinks and foods are piled up.
Abagael Giles
Vermont Public
Mike Dunn, owner of T. Ruggs Tavern in Burlington’s Old North End, prepares for a busy eclipse Monday. He says they've already noticed more traffic than normal this weekend.

They’ve already noticed more traffic at the bar this weekend than normal and were in the midst of setting up a hot dog stand out front at about 11 a.m.

He and his staff are hoping to get a peek of the eclipse themselves.

"I figure everyone will be outside watching it, so we're just gonna look up and see," Dunn said.

from the field

Vermont ski resorts in the path of totality are thrilled

Posted April 8, 2024 at 11:42 AM EDT
A woman wearing an iridescent ski suit smiles standing next to a ski rack with a snowy ski mountain in the background
Susan Haigh
Associated Press
Sara Luneau, 57, poses at Jay Peak ski resort in Jay, Vermont, Monday, April 8, 2024. Luneau and her 16-year-old niece are among the lucky 100 or so skiers and snowboarders who will get a chance to ride the tram to the top of the mountain and view the eclipse from nearly 4,000 feet elevation.

Most Vermont ski areas pray for snow, but today, they were hoping for clear skies and Jay Peak President and General Manager Steve Wright said so far, so good.

"We prayed for snow earlier. And we got about 40 inches of snow leading into the weekend. And then we switched the prayers over to sunshine. And we we got that, too," Wright said late Monday morning.

He says they've haven't noted any traffic hassles yet and as of 11 a.m. still had some room in their parking lots. They're expecting between 5,000 and 7,000 people today.

Jay Peak on eclipse day

At Stowe Mountain Resort, General Manager Shannon Buhler said they couldn't have asked for a better day.

"It is completely blue skies. No clouds in the sky right now. And warm. It is beautiful outside. It's a huge relief," Buhler said.

Buhler said people started arriving at 6 a.m. and that traffic was flowing "incredibly well" late Monday morning.

Bolton Valley ski Area President Lindsay DesLauriers says they weren't sure what to expect.

"To be honest, I know we were kind of scared of today," DesLauriers said. "We over, over planned. We have so many people out managing parking. We were really nervous that there was going to be a level of demand that would be unmanageable for us."

She said they capped ticket sales and didn’t over-promote, which she thinks was prudent.

Mid-day Monday, she said they had about 2,500 people at the resort, which is less than their busiest day headcount of 3,500.

DesLauriers said it was a good number — not too many visitors at a time when the resort is low on staff.

"It's a festival atmosphere, but it's manageable for us. And that was really what we were hoping for," she said.


Weather update: 'A pretty close call' for Vermont, but good views expected

Posted April 8, 2024 at 11:19 AM EDT

The weather appears to be holding steady for eclipse viewers here in Vermont.

Conor Lahiff of the National Weather Service in Burlington said they are closely watching a band of low, thick clouds that are moving across New York toward Vermont — and could block out the eclipse.

Lahiff said it looks like they'll hit the Adirondacks region around 3 p.m., but Vermont should be spared.

"It's a pretty close call for Vermont as far as those those lower clouds obscuring things," Lahiff said in an interview late Monday morning, "but we're optimistic that those are going to stay west of us long enough that we're going to get a good view."

Folks in the Champlain Valley should expect to see high clouds this afternoon — but those won't impede eclipse views.

The Northeast Kingdom will have the best conditions in the state.

Find full details here.

Slow traffic on I-91 northbound around Westminster

Posted April 8, 2024 at 10:34 AM EDT

Traffic is slowed considerably on Interstate 91 northbound around Westminster (Exit 5), according to at about 10:30 a.m.

Overall, traffic is moving on the interstate, and welcome centers continue to see a spike in visitors, said Mark Bosma of Vermont Emergency Management.


Slow traffic on I-89 northbound around Royalton

Posted April 8, 2024 at 10:20 AM EDT

Traffic is slowed considerably on Interstate 89 northbound around Royalton, according to just after 10 a.m.

Vermont State Parks removes Little River, Emerald Lake from recommended viewing sites

Posted April 8, 2024 at 10:18 AM EDT

While Vermont's state parks are not in their regular season, some of them will have guests braving the mud in hopes of catching a glimpse of the eclipse this afternoon.

More from Vermont Public: Eclipse-watchers urged to stay off muddy trails, mountains

Vermont State Parks previously provided a list of parks that would make good locations for watching the eclipse. However, they recently removed two parks from that list: Emerald Lake State Park in Dorset, and Little River State Park in Waterbury.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Vermont State Parks said the two parks presented some safety concerns, including downed trees, after the snowstorm last week.

The list of recommended state parks now includes:

  • Bomoseen
  • Boulder Beach
  • Branbury
  • Crystal Lake
  • DAR
  • Elmore
  • Mt. Philo
  • Grand Isle
  • Knight Point
  • Lake Shaftsbury
  • Lake St. Catherine
  • Niquette Bay
  • Silver Lake
  • Waterbury Center
from the field

Alburgh's big tourist welcome was months in the making

Posted April 8, 2024 at 5:15 AM EDT
A woman takes notes at a desk.
Sabine Poux
Vermont Public
Josie Henry at an Alburgh Totality Festival planning meeting one week before the eclipse, on April 1.

Alburgh is a place where people come for a slower slice of life. It’s a town of about 2,000 residents at the top of the Champlain Islands, close to the New York and Canada borders. 

But as it happens, Alburgh is right in the path of totality for the eclipse — which makes it a prime destination for the potentially massive crowds that will be traveling from all over the region, and the country, to get a three-and-a-half minute glimpse at the moon completely covering the sun. It’s a golden opportunity for business, at least for those brave enough to seize it.

In October, a group of residents began planning a three-day festival, which started Saturday morning and wraps up Monday evening, after the eclipse and a fireworks show.

John Clarke owns property on the main street in town, right next to the American Legion. In the summer, he turns it into three campsites that he puts up on Airbnb. He said they’re rarely all booked at once.

But they booked out early for the eclipse weekend. He added another handful of spots that are fully booked, too. He’s hosting guests as far away as Oregon and California.

He said the town could use an economic boost.

“It is a once in a lifetime thing,” he said. “Sometimes you just need a push to get you rolling. And once you get rolling, who knows? Maybe other things happen. The town starts to evolve a little bit, people start to come here and check it out and that sort of thing."

Read the full story of Alburgh's preparations here.


Some translucent clouds expected in Burlington area

Posted April 7, 2024 at 5:13 PM EDT

Monday's forecast calls for sunny and mostly clear skies and temperatures in the 50s to near 60.

The Northeast Kingdom is expected to have ideal conditions for viewing. In the Champlain Valley, which includes Burlington, forecasters are expecting some translucent clouds in the afternoon.

"There will be like kind of filtered sunshine," said Eric Myskowski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Burlington. "So you'll be able to see the sun through the clouds, but there will still be clouds there. So it's not going to be an absolutely clear sky."

Still, he said the clouds shouldn't impede the view of the eclipse Monday, which will occur around 3:30 p.m.

from the field

Crowds arrive in Burlington

Posted April 7, 2024 at 5:10 PM EDT
A man with sunglasses and a hat poses for a picture.
Liam Elder-Connors
Vermont Public
New Jersey resident Ken Koch came to Burlington to view his second total solar eclipse. He saw the 2017 eclipse in South Carolina.

On Sunday, Burlington's Church Street and the waterfront were bustling as visitors began streaming into the Queen City.

New Jersey resident Ken Koch came to Burlington to view what will be his second total solar eclipse. He watched the 2017 eclipse in South Carolina and was hooked.

“I never expected that to be such a profound experience … And once you do it's addicting,” Koch said. “When it goes totally dark, there's just something emotional. There's just this dark hole surrounded by the corona — which is brilliant.”

A long line of people stands on a brick walkway, winding toward a Ben & Jerry's shop
Anna Ste. Marie
Vermont Public
Ben & Jerry's scoop shop on Church Street in Burlington drew a long line Sunday afternoon as crowds arrived from all over the country to view the eclipse the following day.

The crowds for the eclipse are expected to be significantly higher than Burlington’s July 3 celebrations, which draw about 23,000, said Zach Williamson, festival and event director at Burlington City Arts.

And with forecasters calling for good weather, there could be an even bigger influx of visitors as people make last minute decisions to come to view the eclipse, Williamson said.

“I want to make sure everyone who wants to see totality has an opportunity … But be ready for congestion and possibly some trouble getting here at that point,” Williamson said on Sunday.

If crowds exceed 50,000 in the Queen City, police officials say they’re not confident that they’ll be able to maintain traffic flow in the city. If the crowds exceed 75,000 there will likely be total gridlock and Interstate 89, Route 7, and Route 2 could be shut down, police said.

Landlines get a moment to shine

Posted April 7, 2024 at 12:06 PM EDT

Landlines are a hot commodity as Vermonters anticipate greater-than-usual cell service issues tied to eclipse crowds.

Eric Forand, director of Vermont Emergency Management, told Vermont Edition he's confident that the state's cell towers can handle the increased traffic. In particular, emergency 911 calls will receive top priority.

Still, there are parts of Vermont where cell service is virtually nonexistent, even on a good day, and visitors might not know where those gaps are.

Plainfield's emergency management team alerted residents to a landline phone at town hall, which they said lost and distressed visitors could use.

About 55% of Vermonters have a landline phone at home, according to a survey published in the state's most recent telecommunications plan.


Latest forecasts still show clear skies for Monday

Posted April 6, 2024 at 2:09 PM EDT
A map of the United States with lines across it to show the path of totality of the solar eclipse on April 8, and white, gray and blue areas to show anticipated cloud cover.
National Weather Service
The National Weather Service on April 6 continues to project northern New England to have the "best chances for clear viewing" of the total solar eclipse on April 8.

The latest forecasts Saturday from the Eye on the Sky weather team and the National Weather Service still show favorable conditions for eclipse viewing on Monday afternoon.

From Saturday's Eye on the Sky weather forecast: "Partial sun should develop Sunday, clear skies Sunday night, and - keep your fingers crossed - mostly sunny skies on Monday for the much-anticipated solar eclipse. A gradual warming trend should see temperatures range through the 50s to near 60 on Monday afternoon, though they could drop as much as 5 to 10 degrees during the eclipse."

The latest update from the National Weather Service on Saturday afternoon continues to show northern New England as having the "best chances for clear viewing." The forecast is still subject to change, though. The NWS map reads, "Totality or bust, check the forecast and adjust!"

Check out our eclipse-inspired playlist

Posted April 5, 2024 at 2:48 PM EDT

The April 8 eclipse will be a feast for the eyes, but what about the ears?

Treat your ears to some sun-and-moon music with this playlist curated by Vermont Public Classical's Helen Lyons.

Vermont courthouses, other community institutions will close for eclipse

Posted April 5, 2024 at 2:42 PM EDT
A marble building with stately columns and two flags posted above the main door
April McCullum
Vermont Public
The courthouse on Main Street in Burlington contains the Vermont Superior Court civil division for Chittenden County.

Traffic concerns have led Vermont to shut down some courthouses for the day.

Courthouses in Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orleans, Caledonia, Essex and Washington counties are physically closed Monday, according to the Vermont Judiciary. (Anyone who needs to apply for a relief from abuse order may do so by calling 1-800-540-9990.)

All courthouses statewide will be closed from 3:15-3:45 p.m.

There's no school Monday in Chittenden, Grand Isle and Franklin counties, as well as at many other schools in the path of totality.

Town offices in some communities are closed for the day or closing early, and some banks and doctor's offices are closing or have limited hours. Scheduled trash and recycling pickup may be moved to another day.

Viewing the eclipse in Burlington? Both of the City Market grocery store locations will be closed Monday.


Monday's weather looks good

Posted April 5, 2024 at 2:37 PM EDT

April isn't typically the sunniest month in Vermont. But it looks like folks hoping for a clear view of the total solar eclipse on Monday will get their wish.

"We're looking at about as good of a day as you can expect for early April," said Matthew Clay with the National Weather Service in Burlington on Thursday. "Looking at mostly sunny and dry conditions across the region, especially in the path of totality, so looking like it's going to be a really nice day with high temperatures in the 50s with light, northwest winds."

Clay said there will be a few stray cumulus clouds as well, but nothing that would impede a clear view of the eclipse Monday, which will occur around 3:30 p.m.

Vermont's favorable prospects make it an outlier in the national forecast. Along the path of totality, which stretches from Texas to Maine, the "best chances for clear viewing" are in northern New England and parts of Missouri and Indiana, the NOAA National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center said in a Facebook post Friday.

Even though it may be sunny in Vermont, it's not a good day for a hike. Many of the trails are closed for mud season anyway, and the recent snowstorm means winter conditions persist around mountain summits. Emergency responders are worried that eclipse traffic will make it harder than usual to rescue anyone who needs help.