Coming together for the eclipse
Marlboro County was not in the path of totality, but that doesn’t mean residents - and visitors too - didn’t enjoy the show during Monday’s much-anticipated solar eclipse.
According to NASA’s interactive maps, it appears Marlboro County experienced a partial eclipse in the range of 98 percent, with the peak at 2:44:37 p.m. Monday, August 21.
Just about that time, a small group was gathered in front of the Marian Wright Edelman Public Library on Fayetteville Avenue in Bennettsville.
Among them were Mikayla Clark, 6, and her brother Cameryn Clark, 8. After spending the long weekend in N.C. with their dad, Stanley Clark, and grandmother, Queen Kemp, they came home just in time for the eclipse and took turns viewing the changing sky with a pair of special glasses.
“It’s amazing,” said Mikayla, smiling broadly. “It looks like the sky is getting darker.”
Experiencing the eclipse with them were Danny Barnhill and his son, Gabriel Barnhill, who were on their way back to their homes on the S.C. coast from a business trip and made a pit stop in Bennettsville as eclipse time drew near.
“This was as close as we could get,” said Danny, who remembers viewing his last eclipse in 1970, when he was just 10 years old. “We’re glad to be in Marlboro County.”
The next total solar eclipse visible in the U.S. will be April 8, 2024, but its path will remain well to the west and north of South Carolina and Marlboro County.