Initial numbers are in. The Great Solar Eclipse was great for Arkansas


The Arkansas Department of Transportation was planning for a quarter of a million people to visit the state for the Great Solar Eclipse. If early counts are any indication, the predictions could be close. ARDOT estimates over 200,000 people visited the state during the rare occurence and it appears all the preparations made over the last two years paid off. Officials say no traffic issues were apparent, as those looking to bask in the darkness were able to get to their destinations.

Russellville, as expected, was the hot spot. Christie Graham, the head of the Russellville Tourism Department, said 90 plans landed at the airport there on Monday. She said on a regular Monday, four or five would be checked in. In the Western part of the state, towns like Booneville and Mena saw their populations swell as well. Many people made their way to Mount Magazine, a popular destination in non-eclipse times, but even more so on this occasion. The next eclipse to blanket the state will be on August 12, 2045.