Texas towns prepare for eclipse tourists, worried about traffic, cellular service, and potential weather issues

Texas towns from the border with Mexico to Texarkana are preparing for a massive influx of visitors ahead of the solar eclipse on April 8. The eclipse will be visible throughout the state, but cloudy and rainy conditions in south Central Texas and cloudy skies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area could interfere with viewing. Mayor Marion Bishop of Llano advises residents to stock up on food and water and stay indoors on Monday, as the city expects large crowds of eclipse tourists, heavy traffic, and potential shortages of food, water, and medications. The mayor is particularly concerned about traffic jams at the Roy B. Inks Bridge over the Llano River, the city's only connection between its northern and southern halves. Junction, another town in the path of totality, is worried about traffic jams on Interstate 10 disrupting truck traffic. The mayor of Eagle Pass, where the eclipse will first be visible in Texas, planned a music festival for the event, but the venue was seized by the state for use as a staging ground for state troopers and National Guard members as part of the ongoing border enforcement standoff with the federal government.

In Sulphur Springs, the oldest Catholic church in Hopkins County is renting out parking spots and preparing to profit from the expected crowds by selling food and special glasses for viewing the eclipse. The church's head of the pastoral committee, Karen Lozano, is worried about potential cellular service outages in the small town. 40 miles north of Sulphur Springs, a family-owned ranch is opening its doors to visitors for the first time, with over 100 RV spaces and campsites available for $250 a night. The ranch's owner, Jason Besteman, hopes the eclipse will give his business an economic boost.

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