Lincoln City surprisingly calm days before eclipse

The coast is expecting thousands of extra visitors

The beach and Lincoln City a few days before the solar eclipse. (KOIN)

LINCOLN CITY, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon coast expected eclipse mania over the weekend leading up to the Great American Solar Eclipse on August 21, so many people were surprised Saturday by the lack of traffic and crowds.

The Oregon coast is the first place the solar eclipse will be visible in the United States and campsites and hotels were booked months in advance by people hoping to get the first glimpse of the moon casting its shadow on the face of the earth.

“Eye on the Eclipse” – a KOIN 6 News special at 8 p.m. Saturday

Many people are concerned about visibility. Right now the weather forecast is still up in the air, but there is a very real possibility that it will be too overcast to see the eclipse.

“To me, that’s the essence of living at the coast,” Lincoln City Cultural Center executive director Niki Price said. “When people tell you it’s going to be nice weather, it often isn’t. When people say it’s going to be bad weather, it often isn’t.”

City leaders say hotel occupancy is still 90% but they don’t see the tens of thousands of extra visitors they were expecting. Traffic is expected to pick up Sunday but residents and city leaders wonder if that’s going to happen after all.

“We keep thinking it’s the calm before the storm, but I don’t know if the storm is going to get here,” resident Ruth Martell said. “Maybe they all went to Madras.”

Complete coverage of the solar eclipse