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EAA AirVenture organizers, campers prepare for severe weather

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 01:43:36-04

OSHKOSH — Thousands of campers at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh are bracing for the potential of severe weather on Wednesday night, although campers and organizers say bad weather isn't anything new for festival-goers.

"You've been camping for awhile, you know that there's weather that comes through. It's summer, it's Wisconsin and those kinds of things are going to occur," said EAA Director of Communications Dick Knapinski.

The American Red Cross had opened an evacuation center for people from EAA AirVenture to stay during tonight’s severe storms, but the site has since closed after the storm passed.

Knapinski said pilots and those attending EAA are some of the most weather-savvy people, but still should beware of any unexpected changes in the weather. Campground security Justin Dulman said he's been making rounds to remind people to tether down their equipment and to have a plan in place to stay safe.

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"Tether the awnings down, make sure you check cords for tents, any lawn chairs, any debris that can be let loose out of the campground and cause damage to neighboring campsites," Dulman said.

Bran Lenhard and his sons were back at EAA AirVenture for the first time in five years. He knows how quickly the weather can change and already has a plan in place.

"We'll keep our phones on for any weather alerts, and if there is a tornado warning or severe weather, we'll get in the truck and put our seat belt buckles on, get ready for it," Lenhard said.

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Hector Rivera was also out camping with his family, and was also preparing for the severe weather.

"We're going to bring the awning in, we're going to haul everything in," Rivera said.

Organizers said that although RVs and campers are pretty safe, permanent structures will be available for anyone who wants the added layer of security. EAA also works with the National Weather Service out of Green Bay to track storms as they approach the area.

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