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Thousands have gathered in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, where the total solar eclipse is expected to be at its greatest intensity.

Officials say the city expects 50,000 visitors from 29 countries, 3 territories and 46 states to be in town Monday for a view of the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse to sweep the United States in 99 years.

Brooke Jung is Hopkinsville’s eclipse coordinator.

“This is the point where the sun the moon and the earth will align most perfectly. So visitors to Hopkinsville and Christian County will get the most uniform view of the solar eclipse as it happens.”

Several places in the city and the region were offering viewing areas for the eclipse, including Land Between the Lakes National Recreation area, just west of Hopkinsville.

The eclipse began around 1 p.m. Eastern time and will last about three hours, with eclipse totality lasting about 2 minutes and 40 seconds in Hopkinsville.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin was also in Christian County to watch today’s solar eclipse along with tens of thousands of visitors. He says an estimated $30 million economic impact for the city of Hopkinsville is one positive outcome.

But, he also hopes this event will help the state recruit new citizens.

“Because I truly believe Kentucky we’re 4.4 million people there’s no reason why we can’t be 6.4 million people I mean Tennessee has about 6.4 four million people, Indiana has about 6.5 million people we’re roughly the same size as them geographically from a landmass standpoint. We’ve got room for a couple million more.”

Bevin also praised local law enforcement and first responders for their preparedness efforts citing reasonable traffic volume and no major traffic snarls.

Meanwhile, In Louisville

WFPL News Producer Laura Ellis is spending the week living at the Kentucky State Fair, answering listeners’ questions and offering insight into how the massive annual undertaking actually happens.

She spent the afternoon reporting on how fair-goers are experiencing the eclipse. Here’s some of her reporting: