Dothan, AL News, Weather, Sports | WTVY

Solar eclipse selling out welding lenses

By  | 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The time is nigh upon us for one of the biggest celestial events in recent memory. Weather permitting, Monday, people will be able to see something that won't be in our neck of the woods again until 2024.

The Theisen's in northeast Cedar Rapids was sold out of any tinted welding lenses, which typically go for a couple dollars.

In preparation, huge numbers of people have hit the road trying to get as close to the "zone of totality" as possible.

Nick Maybanks, from the Cedar Rapids area, traveled nearly six hours to Cape Girardeau, Missouri with his family to see the eclipse. It's something they've been excited about for more than a year.

In fact, Nick reserved a room in February and is glad he did.
Everything in Cape Girardeau is booked.

"A local, here, who put his house on Airbnb, he had I think 19 people staying in his lawn," said Nick.

Almost everywhere is sold out of solar eclipse glasses and people are now turning to alternatives, buying shaded lenses for welding helmets.

But, those too are becoming hard to find. The Theisen's in northeast Cedar Rapids was sold out of any tinted welding lenses, which typically go for a couple dollars. Full helmets were still available, but cost near $70.

Many are also on a last minute hunt for solar lenses for cameras. Everything Photography in Dubuque recently warned folks what can happen if you don't have the right equipment. They posted a video online of the sun roasting the internal electronics of a camera.

"It's probably just burning the sensor right now," said Sean MacDonald, owner of the shop, in the online video. "Let's take a look."

Unfortunately, all the prep may be all for not in eastern Iowa. Cedar Rapids is expecting a near 70% chance of rain Monday. The eclipse could end up eclipsed by clouds. At least people can still look stylish in those solar shades.