Rock Hill hotels booking up fast for solar eclipse

ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - People from Oregon to South Carolina have just one week left until they fall under the path of a total solar eclipse.

The skies will darken for nearly three minutes in some cities, including Columbia, SC.

Hotels are already booking up, even in Rock Hill, which is only expecting to see heavy shadowing in the afternoon. WBTV checked in with more than a dozen hotels in Rock Hill and many are sold out for Sunday, August 20.

There were still about half of the hotels with just a few rooms left.

The Hampton Inn in Rock Hill saw a spike in bookings for Sunday a few weeks ago. The 160-room building only has 10 rooms left for Sunday night. The General Manager says it's rare for them to nearly sell out on a Sunday night.

"I didn't realize there was such a following for the solar eclipse," General Manager Eddie Bosch said. "But they better get on it fast if they want to come to Rock Hill for the solar eclipse."

Meanwhile, the South Carolina Highway Patrol is gearing up for heavy traffic along I-77 next Monday.

"It's enough of a distraction out there under a normal circumstance, but with an event like this people are going to be drawn to it and want to view it. So even if you are paying attention to what you are doing, somebody else may not be," Lance Corporal Gary Miller said.

There will be extra troopers on the road Monday to ensure traffic is flowing steadily. They say to have a plan for where you are going to watch the solar eclipse, because pulling on the side of the interstate is not an option.

"Not only is it unsafe, but it's illegal to stop on the interstate unless it's an emergency," Miller said.

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