WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 12, 2013, 04:59 PM

Red River Valley Fair on high alert due to the weather

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- The threat of thunderstorms has officials with the Red River Valley Fair on high alert.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- The threat of thunderstorms has officials with the Red River Valley Fair on high alert.

The fair fun could be put on hold, and the sounds of Hunter Hayes could be silenced.

Show producer R.J Romeo has more than just lights and sound on his mind as the wind whips through the grand stand.

R.J Romeo- Romeo Entertainment Group: We're prepared, we're ready for it.

He along with other fair officials go on high alert once a watch has been issued, if there is a warning action will be taken.

R.J: That's when you'll see the roof come down, you'll see us put the tarps over everything.

The three main weather elements concert officials look out for is wind, lightning, and rain.

R.J: If there's lightning within about 10 miles of the venue, we usually have to postpone the show.

A high wind action plan kicks in at 30 miles per hour. This is when you'll see the roof being lowered, and at 35 miles per hour it will be lowered even more.

R.J: At 40 it will already be in as low as possible, but we'd probably have to evacuate the deck because at that point it becomes unsafe.

The danger of high winds became all too real in 2011 at the Indiana State Fair when the stage collapsed because of it, killing 7 people and injured 58.

R.J: I think people are more aware, they have high wind action plans, they have severe weather plans.

Most of these same precautions apply for other fair activities.

Bryan Schulz- Fair General Manager: We have the carnival as part of our team, we work for the sheriffs department and we all have it in kind of a set up plan, we know exactly what we have to do in certain situations.

Romeo has only had to cancel a few shows because of weather. He says it's never an easy choice, but it's the right one.

RJ: We're here to entertain, but at the end of the day it's not worth anyone's life.

Officials will continue preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best so these empty stands cans soon be filled with screaming fans.

Gates for the show are open now. Hunter Hayes hits the stage around 9, weather permitting.