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Cloudy skies in Charleston as totality slips offshore

CHARLESTON, S.C. — As the eclipse left the continent, the clouds won out.

“I’ve rooted for the Redskins all my life, but I’ve never rooted for the clouds before,” said Steve Garrett, 64, of Winchester, Va.

Twelve minutes before totality, the sun peeked through a hole in the clouds, exposing just a fingernail of the partially eclipsed star. “C’mon, clouds, c’mon,” Garret said.

No such luck. At 2:46 p.m., the day went dark and a burst of crows flew overhead to roost, a thick blanket of clouds separated hopeful eyes from totality. Can we take our glasses off? Sure, came the reply, there’s nothing to see. Nothing to see above — but just as the shadow came, thunder rumbled, accompanied by a flash of distant lightning.

Post-eclipse, Andrew Nadler, in his mid-50s, who’d traveled to Charleston from New York, couldn’t help but be disappointed. “The sky wasn’t quite as dark as I’d thought,” he said.

But Garrett was satisfied. “Just being here with all these people in the darkness, that was really the most incredible thing,” he said.

And there’s always the next one — 2024. “You can never think too far ahead,” Nadler said, “but yeah, I’d like to see it.”

2017 Solar eclipse live updates: Weather, photos, traffic and more

The solar eclipse that will sweep across the United States Monday begins at 9 a.m. Pacific Time, noon Eastern, when the moon takes a bite out of the sun for viewers in Oregon. The eclipse will reach totality for coastal Oregon at 10:19 local time. Over the course of 90 minutes, the moon’s full shadow will zip across a 70-mile-wide, 3,000-mile-long path cutting through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina. Finally at 2:49 p.m. Eastern time, it will disappear off the coast of Charleston, S.C.

The partial eclipse will be visible throughout the continental United States.

We’ll be bringing you live updates from across the United States, with photos, video, drone footage, social media highlights, and reports from two dozen staff and freelance writers.