Fort Worth

Mayfest Organizers Prepare for Friday Storms

Mayfest organizers are closely watching Friday's forecast, with storms that could threaten the second day of the four-day festival.

"Generally the weather service will monitor the surrounding areas, and they let me know if there's a pattern within three to four hours out," said Mayfest Executive Director Elizabeth Basham.

"We do make a call within about an hour of any type of a system coming into the festival grounds, and we can absolutely evacuate the park within 30 minutes" Basham added.

That's what happened four years ago when a spring storm threatened.

It's been 21 years since a large hailstorm pummeled the event on a Friday evening in 1995, injuring more than 400 people, 60 of them seriously.

"I remember running – like not running, but panicked kind of quickly walking – back to the parking lot with my dad," said Michelle Schneider, of Fort Worth.

"It was just a big roaring sound," said Mayfest electrician Jeff Hicks. "And we were watching, looking in the river. The river down there looked like a big hot tub going, it was just, the water was churning so much from all the large hail hitting the water."

Volunteers from RACES – the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service – now help Mayfest organizers keep an eye on the forecast and the radar.

"What we would encourage people to do is to not only monitor the weather around their homes, but to actually look at what's happening at Trinity Park," said Basham.

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