The warnings about major traffic jams in Texas that could spill into Louisiana during the total solar eclipse on the afternoon of April 8, 2024, are flooding the internet and media outlets. The flood of messages are warranted based on what happened in areas that experienced it in 2017.

When the last total solar eclipse darkened the skies over Texas and, to a lesser degree, Louisiana, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) said traffic increased to the tune of about 200 percent. When you consider that the insanely busy area of I-10 falls in the path of totality, you understand how history could repeat itself.

READ MORE: Guide to Total Solar Eclipse

Areas of Texas, the southeast corner of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and all the states in the path of totality which stretches across America from the border northeast through Maine are expecting an influx of eclipse chasers. While they welcome the additional tourist dollars that may come with those visitors, they are acutely aware of how nearly doubled populations for a few days will strain their resources. Travis County has issued a disaster declaration that allows officials to expand efforts toward safety. They have gone as far as suggesting that residents stock up on groceries and fill their tanks.

San Antonio falls immediately outside of the path of totality. Houston may experience about 95% of the eclipse. I-10 runs through both, and drivers may be compelled to stop and have a look. If you've driven I-10 through Houston, you know that any stoppage can have you stuck for more than a few minutes.

texas path eclipse
Texas Department of Transportation

If you're planning an eclipse viewing trip, experts suggest that you arrive at your destination a couple days early and plan to wait a couple days after the eclipse to leave. You certainly don't want to get stuck in the mass exodus of traffic flowing out of the most popular areas!

TxDOT has issued a list of safety tips for travelers, and Louisiana residents should heed the warnings as well. The moral of the story is that traffic snarls are avoidable with a little planning. Hopefully, everyone is smart and informed on April 8.

The Lake Charles and Lafayette areas could experience about 90% coverage during the eclipse.

From TxDOT:

While TxDOT prepares for this celestial circumstance, the public is asked to do their part in planning ahead:

  • Expect heavier-than-usual traffic in the days before, during and after the eclipse, especially on major corridors near the path of totality.
  • Leave early and plan your route. Your drive may take longer than predicted.

    has up-to-date traffic conditions.

  • Find a safe, designated space to park before the eclipse. Do not stop in the middle of the road or on a road shoulder.
  • “Drive friendly, the Texas way.” Bring a calm and courteous attitude on the road with you.
  • Enjoy the beautiful wildflowers that will be in bloom, but don’t drive over or trample them, so they can grow back next year.
  • Don’t let litter eclipse Texas. Dispose of all waste in a proper trash can.

Be safe. Wear protective eyewear. Find a nice, safe spot to be while the eclipse is in progress.

Inviting TX Towns That Will Now Enjoy Greatest Eclipse Totality

Gallery Credit: Noah/Canva

2024 Total Solar Eclipse Travel Packing Guide

The total solar eclipse is coming on April 8, 2024, but before you load up the car to go see it, you will want to be sure you have planned accordingly. From making your plans to being prepared when you get there, our Eclipse Travel Packing Guide can help!

Gallery Credit: Kat Mykals