Country Stampede pauses shows for severe weather
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -Severe storms left Country Stampede goers in suspense after the festival’s main stage and other parts of the grounds suffered damage Friday evening.
Heavy rain and wind sparked near-zero visibility in many areas and left behind downed limbs, power lines and other damage.
“We had a weather plan in place we had some pretty heavy weather come through so we enacted some portions of our weather plan that we coordinate with Country Stampede and Heartland Motorsports Park so we enacted that so they cleared out what they call the bowl which is the area where attendees gather for the concert,” says Jake Henry with Shawnee County Emergency Management.
Shawnee County Emergency Management advised Stampede officials to shelter all festival goers and staff in place while the storm touched down.
After hours with no updates or phone service for many some festival goers grew irritated.
“We’re used to storms here but as festival goers I would say have a booth or something where we can get information because a lot of us don’t have connection. We don’t know what’s going on so it would be really nice to be able to walk up to a booth and say hey what’s the story, what’s the plan, are we going home are we going to delay it are we going to cancel what’s the deal?” says Festival goer, Matt Evans.
But the storms didn’t last long with stampede officials eventually confirming the show would go on.
So I came with one friend and we’ve got like 15 now. So we met everyone here yesterday and we showed up today and now everyone is just kinda hanging out having a good time everyone has got great vibes just having a good time here so it’s been a good time even with everything going on we’re still having a great time,” says Evans.
Emergency Management says the storms may clear up quick but damages can still pose a risk.
“With these kinds of storms lightning is prevalent so make sure that you’re staying indoors if you can to avoid being hit by lightning and I can’t stress it enough don’t approach downed powers lines. We’ve had a lot of reports of that and there is a lot of that traffic that we have monitored on the radio and its something that can be pretty dangerous so make sure you report it and don’t try to take matters into your own hands,” says Henry.
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