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How, Where & When: Your guide to the total solar eclipse

Many are making preparations to witness a phenomenon the likes of which have not been seen in the United States in nearly a century: the total solar eclipse. (Image: MGN)

Many are making preparations to witness a phenomenon the likes of which have not been seen in the United States in nearly a century: the total solar eclipse.

As August 21st approaches, we want to keep you More Aware, More Prepared, and Better Informed about how, where, and when you can enjoy the event!

Many questions you had for our eclipse experts will also be answered on our 2017 Total Solar Eclipse special event on Thursday at 7PM ET. You can watch it live here!


Where is the best spot to see the eclipse near me?

The line of totality passes over a wide area of the country. Here is a list of nearby cities which will experience the eclipse the longest.

  • Spring City, TN - 2m 39s (2:32pm)
  • Niota, TN - 2m 39s (2:32pm)
  • Athens, TN - 2m 35s (2:32pm)
  • Decatur, TN - 2m 34s (2:32pm)
  • Murphy, NC - 2m 28s (2:34pm)
  • Etowah, TN - 2m 28s (2:32pm)
  • Dayton, TN - 2m 21s (2:31pm)
  • Blairsville, GA - 1m 59s (2:34pm)
  • Copperhill, TN - 1m 35s (2:34pm)
  • Cleveland, TN - 1m 03s (2:33pm)
  • Dunlap, TN - 42s (1:32pm)

If you can't be in the path of the totality, you can still see a show! Below are percentages of sun being covered in different areas. It will get dark!

  • Whitwell, TN - 99.7% (1:32pm)
  • Monteagle, TN - 99.4% (1:31pm)
  • Ringgold, GA - 99.4% (2:34pm)
  • Chattanooga, TN - 99.1% (2:34pm)
  • Rock City, GA - 99.1% (2:34pm)
  • Dalton, GA - 99.1% (2:34pm)
  • Trenton, GA - 98.9% (2:32pm)
  • Ft. Payne, AL - 97.2% (1:33pm)
  • Atlanta, GA - 97.2% (2:36pm)
  • Huntsville, AL - 97% (1:30pm)


Where can I get eclipse glasses locally?

With August 21st getting closer and closer, the answer to that question changes by the hour.

We recommend calling hardware stores or eye doctors' offices. If you aren't able to find glasses at those locations, keep making calls. A lot of suppliers have more on order, even if they do not have them in stock.

Below is a list of places you may be able to get some glasses:

  • 200 pairs of glasses will be handed out at Coolidge Park starting at 12 noon on August 21st.
  • 100 pairs of glasses will be given away at each branch of the Chattanooga Public Library on Friday, August 18th starting at 9AM.
  • 200 pairs of glasses will be given out at each of the 17 main locations of Chattanooga area Goodwills on Monday morning.
  • J B's Variety Store (11819 S Main St, Trenton, GA) (706-657-2874) - Call ahead or message their Facebook page to put your name on a list. Shipment coming Saturday - $7.99 a pair. No limit on number of reservations.

Remember, when it comes to keeping your eyes safe during the eclipse, ordinary sunglasses won't do!

Check out the link here for a look at other local hotspots that may have eclipse eyewear.

Check out Meteorologist Brian Smith's video for even more locations and tips for keeping your eyes safe:

Here was what one store in Ooltewah looked like on Wednesday afternoon:

How do I spot fake eclipse glasses?

Look for glasses that clearly display the manufacturer's name, and make sure there's an I-S-O icon.

Experts also suggest trying on the glasses before the eclipse.

If they are the real deal, you should only be able to see the sun through them.


What if I can't get eclipse glasses?

Did you know you can make your own eclipse glasses at home? Check out the full video on our Facebook page here.


What is the weather going to look like for the eclipse?

Check out the StormTrack 9 weather team's latest update on the eclipse forecast here.


Will my child's school be closed for the eclipse?

Visit our up-to-date article here for the latest school closings, delays, and extensions related to the eclipse.


What happens if I don't wear proper eclipse glasses?

Here's what can happen if you're not careful.


Will the eclipse affect my electricity/phone/internet?

Cellphone networks are in overdrive to prepare for an unprecedented amount of cell phone traffic.


How will traffic be affected the day of the eclipse?

Virtually every law enforcement agency is urging the public to stay off the roads, and are expecting a lot of traffic, with some possibly unsafe driving, including people stopping by the side of the interstate. Agencies are getting ready for the event as they would for a natural disaster.


Will the eclipse affect my pet and other animals?

Is your pet prepared for the total solar eclipse? Find out here.

Check out this interview we had with Dr. Tai Federico from Riverview Animal Hospital about how pets and other animals may be affected by the eclipse:

Does NewsChannel 9 have a place I can submit pictures & videos I take with friends and family?

Yes! Please submit your pictures and videos to our Total Solar Eclipse section here, and check out your pictures & videos and ones other viewers have sent us here.


For more information on the 2017 Solar Eclipse, check out our Eclipse section here!


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