Fair official says weather is his primary concern this week
GOSHEN — People in Goshen woke up Monday, July 15, to a hot, humid day and a week of the same, according to AccuWeather.
AccuWeather forecasts temperatures in the low 90s with some chances of thunderstorms for Friday, July 19, the opening day of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.
“If it gets to (the temperature) it is today we will set up cooling centers,” Phil Wogoman, director of safety and emergencies for the fair, said Monday. “I expect low to mid 80s for the nine days (of the fair), but if it were to get hotter we would set up cooling centers and make announcements about where to go for air conditioning.”
He said that 4-H’ers should be making sure their animals have plenty of fresh water. Some people, he added, won’t even bring their animals to the fairgrounds until the day before the show when it’s hot.
“Normally, the leaders are very on top of that type of thing,” Wogoman said. “They are watching over their clubs and are very proactive about keeping the animals cool.”
Wogoman said he has a very specific plan in place in case of thunderstorms.
“Weather is my primary focus during the fair — making sure that nobody gets hurt because of a weather problem,” Wogoman said. “I go through a private weather forecasting service and we monitor the weather minute by minute.”
Weather is of even more concern during well-attended grandstand events.
“Several times I’ve closed the fair completely (because of storms), and I’ve shut down grandstand shows when lightning or bad weather gets very close,” Wogoman said. “A lot of times we will get people out of the grandstands and let the storms go by.”
Wogoman said that once people start arriving on the fairgrounds on Wednesday, he will be there and on the lookout for potential weather issues.