Two predictions surrounding Monday’s total solar eclipse in East Texas largely failed to come true.

The clouds were thin to non-existent during the time of totality around 1:40 p.m., and the expected traffic jams did not materialize.

There seemed to be numerous visitors to the county, but most apparently arrived ahead of time and got in no hurry to leave.

An expected throng of eclipse-day visitors from the east and south did not clog roadways as some sources had predicted, although eclipse traffic in other parts of the nation and state was heavier as the moon’s shadow raced from Eagle Pass, Texas to Niagara Falls, New York.

The crowd at the Mineola Civic Center, which included visitors from many states attending two recreational vehicle rallies, plus a few dozen locals, relaxed and took in the phenomenon, which has not visited the area in almost 150 years.

At totality, only a few high, thin clouds were present, essentially offering little obstruction of the view – much different from advance forecasts of clouds and rain, which arrived several hours later.

There were plenty of oohs and aahs as the daytime turned dark, temperatures dropped, and the street lights at the center came on.

City streets were mostly deserted during the almost four minutes the moon blocked the sun’s light, except for the narrow outer ring. 

The reported phenomena included eclipse shadows cast on the ground through tree limbs, crickets chirping, roosters crowing and birds growing silent.

Wood County Emergency Management Coordinator Tully Davidson said there were no public safety issues in the county, and the day went off without a hitch.

He said the county had its resources ready for any contingency, but they were not needed.

He observed no additional traffic around the courthouse square in Quitman on Monday.

Observers in Winnsboro and Emory also reported no traffic issues surrounding the eclipse.

Jeanine Holowatuik of Saskatchewan, Canada planned well in advance to see the celestial event in person, choosing Texas for its probability of clear skies. She flew into Houston the day before and drove north, looking for the best possible place to shoot from, and found “the perfect spot,” at Swearingen Park and, “lucked out, for sure.”