The St. Clair area experienced heavy traffic congestion after the eclipse Monday afternoon as drivers headed to Interstate 44.

There were no reported problems with visitors getting to town Monday, however, it took police and other personnel a couple of hours to direct traffic leaving town, according to Police Chief Bill Hammack.

Congestion began shortly after the total eclipse concluded about 1:18 p.m. and continued until 4:30 p.m. as visitors made their way to I-44.

Sheriff Steve Pelton said traffic was crawling at 3-5 mph on eastbound I-44 from the 239 mile marker near St. Clair to the 247 mile marker at Highway 50.

Pelton said traffic was heavier than normal on westbound I-44 but it was flowing at a quicker pace.

Traffic eased up before 5 p.m. as many visitors to Franklin County left the area.

There were 438 calls for service to the sheriff’s department from Friday at 6 p.m. through Monday at 10:30 a.m. That compares to 225 call the previous weekend.