TOPEKA, Kan. — The shifting cloud cover across Kansas on Monday gave people hoping to see the eclipse a mixed viewing experience.
In downtown Topeka, the clouds parted just in time for many people to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse as it reached its peak of 99 percent, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.
About 200 people at a watch party in the parking lot of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library got a look for about 30 seconds through a thin sheen of clouds. People cheered as a small portion of the sun could be seen when the clouds separated.
Light rain pelted employees on the roof of the Westar Energy in downtown Topeka as they waited for the eclipse’s peak.
One of them, Kim Savage, said even though their view of the eclipse lasted only a few seconds, they were glad they made the effort to see it.
“Everyone started cheering,” she said. “It was pretty cool.”
But outside a downtown Topeka camera shop, people could only see the passing gray clouds overhead. It got dark, and then quickly light again.
Edna Williams looked in vain for the sun through her eclipse glasses. But she said she was glad she could share the experience with others.
“It didn’t get quite as dark as I thought it would get,” she said. “But we saw the excitement among the people from just standing out there.”
The skies were mostly clear in the Wichita area, where people could see a little more than 92 percent of the eclipse peak.
At the Park Hill Elementary School in Derby, about 375 students gathered outside on the playground with eclipse glasses gripped to their heads as teachers and parent volunteers monitored them, The Wichita Eagle reported .
First grader Carter Trapp nodded his head as teachers explained how the moon was sliding in front of the sun, blocking its light.
“The moon is doing a very good job,” he said.