© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

In Rural Sabetha, Kansas, The World Came For Totality

Sam Zeff
KCUR 89.3

People from all over the world gathered in the small northeast Kansas town of Sabetha during Monday's solar eclipse to experience two-and-a-half minutes of totality.

The parking lot of the Koch Motel just off US 75 was filled with cars from Arizona, Texas and Ohio.

There were families from Japan and Britain.

“I figured there wouldn’t be a ton of people in this little corner of Kansas,” said Dave Heim from Rock Island, Illinois.

Turns out, there were more than he thought. But Sabetha, about an hour north of Topeka and 30 minutes from the Nebraska state line, wasn’t overcrowded and the traffic was very manageable.

Credit Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3
KCUR 89.3
Beverly and Robert Miller came from Syracuse, New York, to watch the eclipse in Sabetha, Kansas, Monday.

Robert Miller from Syracuse, New York, says he would come to Sabetha often early in his career and then noticed it in the path of totality. “I’ve traveled out here on business quite a few times in the past and I figured, the perfect place to go.”

The day was rainy in Sabetha and totality was obscured by clouds when it rolled in at 1:04 p.m.

Rooms at the motel that usually go for $50 a night were going for three times that much.

Sam Zeff covers education for KCUR and the Kansas News Service and is co-host of the political podcast Statehouse Blend Kansas. Follow him on Twitter @SamZeff.

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.