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The newly engaged couple had driven the 180 miles from their home in Des Moines, Iowa earlier that morning.They had strung Christmas lights from truck to tent-top and finished off their festive homestead with two signs.
In the distance thunder rolled but, while the sun was completely obscured, the odd effects of the eclipse were not.
Over almost before it had begun.'We saw it, we saw it! From a thunderous downpour, through darkness and daylight, all in the span of a few minutes – disappointment, turned to elation and exhilaration for the thousands who had made the pilgrimage to this tract of Missouri, the path of totality, the center of these enthusiasts' worlds as they watched, faces open to the sky, in awe.
Less than 20 minutes before totality, the rain that had threatened all morning hammered down.
' read like a kind of jovial survival guide to the apocalypse.
Those driving were warned to 'stock up on groceries, fuel and other incidentals.' If using coolers 'freeze larger blocks of ice now rather than counting on convenience store ice.'With a Solar Eclipse art fair, campers, music planned and souvenir stalls it was as if Doomsday Preppers had been put in charge of Woodstock.'Charge batteries on everything,' it continued, 'from point and shoot cameras to flashlights to portable chargers. Put a roll of toilet paper in your car.'And in case your children went missing or fell prey to 'stranger danger,' visitors were advised to 'take photographs of your children as they arrive to show current clothing and hairstyle.'Listen closely enough and you could hear City Hall's muffled screams of 'Don't Panic!
'High School Librarian Shelly Huette, 40, and her teacher husband Charlie, 41, were surprised by the preparation overload when they decided to make the 30-minute drive from their home in Kansas City a day ahead of time and camp out in St Joe's.