Wisconsin State Fair officials prepared for severe weather

Storms expected on opening day
Posted at 6:57 AM, Aug 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-03 14:08:01-04

Wisconsin State Fair officials say the threat of rain or severe weather shouldn't keep people away from the fairgrounds. Contingencies are in place.

"We know we're weather dependent," said Kristi Chuckel, Communications Director for the Wisconsin State Fair. "Obviously, we're an outdoor event. We're constantly watching the weather."

Chuckel says they have an emergency action plan in the event of severe weather.

"We work on [it] every year. We have training with our staff," Chuckel said. "We know it's a possibility. We hope for the best but we're prepared if something were to come in terms of weather."

Chuckel said the Fair uses a special weather service to provide 24/7 updates on what's happening. There's a command post on site to monitor changing weather as well. So at the first sign of lightning, high winds or downpours, they jump into action.

"The first thing we look at is our rides," Chuckel said. "If we have lightning in the area, we will shut the rides down and ask people to get off because, of course, safety is our top priority. We like to tell people, 'don't let the rain scare you away.' We have a lot of buildings at State Fair Park. It makes us unique as compared to some other events. We have our 200,000 square foot Exposition Center. It's air conditioned. We have vendors in there. That's a way to get out, whether it's heat or rain, we have a lot of buildings and a lot of shade here."

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