ATLANTA — Just as thousands of people left their homes to watch the eclipse in Georgia, they now all have to head back home, and that is snarling traffic.
There were no major issues for folks heading north on Monday morning. Triple Team Traffic’s Mark Arum had live coverage of the interstates for Channel 2 Action News This Morning. There were some heavy delays in Gwinnett County but no major issues impacted drivers going north.
For the afternoon, that is a different story.
Drivers such as Barbara Hubbard were willing to give up most anything in order to attend the once-in-a-lifetime event.
"I had to the leave the darn poolroom at Dawsonville to do this,” Hubbard said.
Petersen was with deputies at the intersection where Georgia State Route 400 begins, or ends, depending on one's direction of travel. Most drivers were headed north early in the day to try to catch up to the solar eclipse.
"How far are you going to go?" Petersen asked eclipse watcher Jane Zuniga.
"We're going up to a state park I saw up north," Zuniga said.
“You think you'll make it?" Petersen asked.
"Maybe," Zuniga said.
Sheriff's deputies directed traffic that was backed up for miles.
- The solar eclipse passes through Georgia
- Monday's solar eclipse brings influx of tourists along path of totality
- These schools are delaying dismissal for the solar eclipse
By mid-afternoon, it was too late to keep going, so some people pulled over where they were and donned their solar shades.
But all realized that getting there and seeing something they have never seen before, and may never see again, was only half the battle.
"When will you try to go back home?" Petersen asked Hubbard.
[PHOTOS: Sky photos of Total Solar Eclipse]
"I don't know. It doesn’t matter when we go back home. It may take a long time," Hubbard said.
As drivers left after the eclipse, NewsChopper 2 flew over the same intersection, showing people backed up for miles trying to get home.
Those same drivers were expected to continue to clog roads as they made their way back to the metro.
Cox Media Group