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Grand Prix Organizers Prepping For Possible Severe Weather

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

John Shumway John Shumway
John Shumway joined KDKA-TV in October 1988 as a General Assignment...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Summertime storms are just part of the hazard of hosting a mid-summer car paradise in the open air of Schenley Park.

“It’s the severe weather that we’re worried about,” said Daniel DelBianco, the executive director of Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.

So is the City of Pittsburgh. It’s a concern that heightens as the possibilities become clearer.

“Thunderstorms, severe high winds, cloud to ground lightning and isolated heavy downpours,” said Pittsburgh Emergency Management Assistant Chief Ray Demichiei.

Demichei says as the crowds swell to an estimated 100,000 on Saturday, they’ll be monitoring the weather minute by minute.

“We’ll be in in communications with them during the course of the weekend,” he says. “We’ll keep them advised of any weather that’s approaching and they’ll react appropriately.”

In fact, the Grand Prix’s emergency plan already spells out exactly what they’ll do, up to and including a possible evacuation.

“You’ve got what may be 100,000 people here on the golf course, and so everyone leaving at once is not going to be the fastest way out, but it’s the only thing you can do,” DelBianco said.

“You’re really not going to get anywhere quick,” says Demichiei

So advanced warning is the key, and lightning is the primary concern.

“Considering where they’re at and the type of weather we could possibly have that would be my biggest concern would be high winds and lightning,” said Demichiei.

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