Could Hurricane Arthur Extinguish DC Fireworks?

Jul 3, 2014 2:26pm

DC fireworks fans, you’re in for a spectacular Independence Day display – as long as Hurricane Arthur doesn’t spoil the show.

The first fuse of the 6,000-shell show is slated to be lit around 9:10 p.m. on Friday evening. But it’s possible that high winds, lightning, and heavy rain generated by Arthur could delay or even postpone the program, National Mall spokeswoman Carol Bradley Johnson confirmed Thursday.

In case of adverse weather, officials will wait until the last minute to make the call, Johnson says. They’d begin by delaying the show just half an hour or so, but if lightning and wind persist, they’ll postpone the show until Saturday night.

Guests can monitor the schedule remotely by texting “July4DC” to 888777 or following the NPS’s twitter feed.

READ: Everything You Need to Know About Hurricane Arthur and July 4th

If the weather holds, expect tens of thousands to cram onto the National Mall – also known as “America’s Front Yard” – well ahead of the 17-minute fireworks extravaganza.

Thousands more will gather on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for “A Capitol Fourth Concert,” featuring the National Symphony Orchestra, Patti Labelle, Frankie Valli, Philip Phillips and others.

Shennell Antrobus, a public information officer with the U.S. Capitol Police, says the department is “constantly monitoring the weather” but expects to put on the show if the current forecast holds up.

“If there is normal rain, the performance can still go on,” Antrobus said. “The clam shell provides protection to the stage.”

But if Hurricane Arthur’s high winds and lightning pose a public safety hazard, Antrobus says, the Capitol Police would likely cancel the concert and it’s unlikely that it would be rescheduled.

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