Grand Island is located on Interstate 80 about 2 hours west of Omaha. Many visitors may travel to the area since Omaha does not experience totality. The population of Grand Island is about 50,000. There are commercial services such as hotels, shopping and other services in the area. Nearby attractions include many historical pioneer sites.
Eclipse Viewing Venues
There are many open fields around Grand Island. The city is situated in the Nebraska Great Plains. At the start of totality, 12:58pm, the sun will be high in the southern sky. There are many open spaces for eclipse viewing in the area.
Official eclipse viewing venues may be established as August 21, 2017 nears. These may be set up to take advantage of the open spaces near the city where a large number of visitors could park.
While there is an extensive network of roads in the area, there are few highways. Congestion is very likely on the day of the eclipse. Travelers should arrive early and expect some difficulty when departing.
Last Minute Accommodations
Those eclipse viewers arriving at the last minute may find limited accommodation options. Visitors may want to consider staying in Omaha, and driving to an eclipse viewing location. As mentioned, however, traffic congestion is likely to be heavy on the day of the eclipse.
Area Weather Possibilities
Grand Island is usually sunny and dry in August. Unfortunately, thunderstorms may develop at this time of year. Clear weather is vital for eclipse watching. Eclipse viewers will want to monitor the local weather forecast in advance. Moving to a more suitable viewing location may be necessary if bad weather is due.
Alternate Viewing Possibilities to Counter Bad Weather
If the weather in Grand Island is poor for eclipse viewing, the next nearest community may be as far away as Alliance, Nebraska. This community is about 4.5 hours away to the west. Alternatively, St. Joseph, Missouri is about 4 hours to the southeast.