1 in 5 Mainers traveled from home to view the total solar eclipse

By Christopher Burns, Bangor Daily News Staff

One in 5 Mainers traveled from home to view the April 8 total solar eclipse.

That’s according to the latest Pine Tree State Poll from the University of New Hampshire, released on Thursday, April 25.

While only a fifth of Mainers traveled to see the totality, two-thirds of Mainers saw at least a partial eclipse. Just 9 percent of Mainers didn’t see the eclipse at all, and less than 1 percent didn’t know or couldn’t recall when asked if they saw the eclipse, according to the survey.

Northern Mainers were the most likely to have traveled from home to watch the eclipse, while Mainers living Down East or along the coast were more likely to have skipped the event.

Of those Mainers who watched the eclipse, 33 percent saw totality and 64 percent saw a partial occultation.

About 32 percent of Mainers traveled less than an hour to watch the eclipse, while 49 percent traveled one to four hours to view the celestial show. Only 2 percent of Mainers spent more than eight hours traveling somewhere to watch the eclipse.

Overall, 97 percent of Mainers who saw the eclipse were very or somewhat satisfied with the experience. About 1 percent were very dissatisfied with their eclipse trip, according to the survey results.

Of those Mainers who didn’t travel, 53 percent said they were satisfied with their local viewing options, while 27 percent cited heavy traffic and 14 percent just weren’t interested.

Meanwhile, among those Mainers who didn’t view the eclipse at all, 34 percent said they weren’t available to watch it, 31 percent were uninterested and 27 percent thought it was too expensive to travel.

Based on preliminary estimates, Maine saw an additional 15,000 vehicles enter the state during the eclipse, with traffic volumes up 10 to 20 times, compared to normal, according to the Maine Department of Transportation.

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