MOUNT VERNON — As the calendar draws closer to the April 8, solar eclipse, another area school has announced they’ll be closed that day.

Mt. Vernon Township High School announced Tuesday they’ll be closed Monday, April 8, due to the total solar eclipse.

The Illinois Department of Transportation says crowds of up to 200,000 are expected to travel to the prime viewing areas in southern Illinois.

This has led local municipalities to urge people to be prepared for an onslaught of tourists coming to the area to watch the celestial event.

People are encouraged to fill their gas tanks, and get their groceries, pet needs and medications before April 8, and to expect a massive increase in traffic through our region.

MVTHS joins other school districts in the area in either dismissing students early that day or cancelling classes to avoid having school buses, parents, students and staff dealing with likely traffic congestion.

Heavy traffic congestion through the Interstate 57 and Interstate 64 corridor will be certain most of the afternoon and late afternoon.