Severe weather risk for Pike County

Published 8:53 pm Friday, April 23, 2010

TroyFest officials are geared up to continue this weekend’s event, but weather spokespersons do warn adverse weather is a risk.

“We will have a risk of severe weather all day, but the National Weather Service said it feels like the worst of our severe weather could be after sunset,” said Jeanna Barnes, deputy director of the Pike County Emergency Management Agency.

Still, TroyFest Chair Jenniffer Barner said the event staff is prepared in case severe weather hits during the festival hours, and Barner hopes the rain won’t keep people away.

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“We are a rain or shine show. If rain comes we will wait it out. If there is lightning we have to wait for 30 minutes after the last lightning to reopen,” Barner said.

“We still want everyone to come out and have a good time. We have our largest show yet, and there is something for everyone to enjoy.”

Pike County, as of Friday afternoon, was categorized in a slight-risk category for severe weather from 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday.

Barnes said, however, the area is just on the edge of a moderate risk, something Pike County hasn’t seen but twice in the last 10 years.

“I’ve only seen us in a moderate risk for the last 10 years, and the last time was when the Enterprise tornado hit,” said Pike County EMA Director Larry Davis.

National Weather Service officials warned in a weather briefing Friday that severe damage could include tornados, damaging winds, large hail and localized flooding, still with the greatest risk late Saturday.

“This has the potential to be a major tornado event,” the weather service said.

TroyFest will go on rain or shine, but there are shelter locations that will open during the event should they be needed.

The Municipal Courtroom, Pike County Courthouse and First Baptist Church are set areas that will open just for those at the TroyFest event if there is a need for immediate shelter.