Southern Illinois prepares for influx of eclipse visitors

Amazing scientific natural phenomenon. Total solar eclipse with diamond ring effect glowing on sky with dark clouds. Abstract fantastic background of beautiful nature and serenity landscape.

CARBONDALE, Ill. -Officials in southern Illinois are preparing for thousands of people to descend on the area to view the total solar eclipse.

The Southern Illinoisan reports the Illinois Department of Transportation is restricting some traffic and installing digital message boards to provide travelers with real time information on backups or delays.

Ameren is adding extra staff in case anything happens to the energy grid. AT&T is boosting its network with temporary cell towers to ensure customers can share the moment with family and friends.

Portions of southern Illinois are expected to be in the path of totality, or when the moon will completely block the sun during Monday afternoon’s eclipse. The eclipse will last the longest – about three minutes – near Carbondale.

Southern Illinois University also is gearing up for a sold-out viewing party at Saluki Stadium.