Rural Missouri gets ready for influx of eclipse watchers

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Rural Missouri is preparing for its moment in the sun. Check that: Its moment out of the sun.

A diagonal 300-mile-long, roughly 70-mile-wide stretch from St. Joseph to Cape Girardeau will be in what's called the ``path of totality'' that will offer the best viewing of the total eclipse on Monday. It's the first total eclipse of the sun in 99 years that will be visible coast-to-coast in the U.S.

Missouri tourism officials expect up to 1.3 million visitors for a glimpse. Hotel rooms in prime viewing spots are mostly sold out.

Much of the best viewing is in rural areas. St. Louis and Kansas City are not in the path of totality. The Missouri Department of Transportation warns that traffic could be congested in places where it normally isn't.