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How are things at eclipse central? TNT checks in with Madras, Oregon

An advertisement for a central Oregon festival built around the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse sits alongside a busy road leading into Madras, Ore. earlier this summer.
An advertisement for a central Oregon festival built around the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse sits alongside a busy road leading into Madras, Ore. earlier this summer. Associated Press file, 2017

Wondering how things are going in Madras, the epicenter of Monday’s eclipse viewing in Oregon?

Here’s what Holly Gill, managing editor of The Madras Pioneer, told The News Tribune on Thursday via email:

On traffic:

“So far, the traffic hasn’t been bad, except on U.S. Highway 26, in and around Prineville, 28 miles east of here, where the Oregon Department of Transportation closed the eastbound lanes for people headed to the giant Symbiosis event on the Big Summit Prairie.”

About those gas lines:

“We’ve had gas lines, but no significant shortages yet, and trucks to resupply the gas stations are supposed to arrive (Thursday). We did have a long line of vehicles waiting to get into the SolarTown event just north of Madras, but they were lined up on a road that parallels the highway. So far, so good!”

What’s next:

“Tomorrow, more of the events get underway, and the 400-plus aircraft, including more than two dozen large aircraft, will begin arriving at the Madras Municipal Airport for the Solar Port event, which also has tent and RV camping and parking. Aircraft are supposed to begin arriving (Friday) afternoon at a rate of one every three minutes, and continue through Monday.

“Should be interesting.”

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell

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