FOX 46 WJZY - FOX 46 had full coverage of the solar eclipse across the Carolinas today. From Charlotte to Columbia, we met people who’d been planning to watch for months, while some others just barely made it.
“That was just the coolest thing I've ever seen, I think I'm going to remember that for the rest of life,” said 13-year-old Ben Babbitt. Babbitt and his family were watching from Furman University in Greenville.
He and his family drove 12 hours from Pennsylvania to see the event.
“It was just amazing, that's something I'm going to tell my children about,” said Babbitt. “It's a once in a lifetime experience.” And it didn't disappoint when darkness fell over Furman.
“When it reached totality it was just awe-inspiring,” said Babbitt.
Other eclipse chasers flocked to Finlay Park in Columbia, deemed total eclipse capital of the East coast.
Finaly Park hosted thousands of people from across the us and all over the world.
“We drove 500 miles to get here because I didn't know if I would ever see this in my life time,” said Brian Drake. He and his family wanted to make sure they had the best view of the eclipse possible.
The hot and hazy afternoon dropped a full eight degrees when total darkness took over Columbia.
Columbia was one of the largest cities in path of totality and experienced darkness for one of the longest times in the country.
"I was afraid it would be so quick you wouldn't notice it, but it was neat, it was bright and sunny, then so dark," said one woman at Finaly Park.
Some sat in silent awe while others were erupting in cheers—all had locked their eyes on Columbia’s skies as day turned night.
Meanwhile in Uptown Charlotte, others were enjoying the eclipse in a different way.
"They got us some Moon Pies and Sun Chips to celebrate our eclipse party," said one woman.
Some were watching from Uptown using their solar glasses, but one man found another way—a welding helmet did the trick for him.
"I thought, let me just check it out. I took my welding shield helmet. Looked at the sun two or three seconds. No problem," he said.
People flooded the square in front of Bank of America, leaving work for a short time to take in the sight.
"I was like, I'm just going to work through it. at the very last minute I was like, I don't want to miss it. I don't want to be the person who missed it. We scurried down. I'm glad we did," one employee told FOX 46.
The day the Carolinas went dark will be one to remember leaving an emotional and economic mark on the cities in the path of totality and all who witnessed the solar eclipse.
"We all just shared the experience of being out here as a team, enjoying nature. Everyone was sharing their glasses so no one went without seeing it. No one went blind today. It was great,” said another employee.