Beaufort Water Festival may be impacted by weather Monday night - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Beaufort Water Festival may be impacted by weather Monday night

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) -

As we keep an eye on the storm here, organizers in Beaufort are doing the same to determine how they should prepare for Monday night. 

It's Motown Monday at the Beaufort Water Festival, and the event is sure to bring the crowds - that is, if the rain holds off. 

The worst case scenario is that the concert could be canceled. There isn't an awning in the location to keep guests dry or safe if the weather takes a turn for the worst. 

So far, the event has seen a great turnout. There were more than 1000 presale tickets sold before 1 p.m. Saturday. Sunday had similar crowds for kid's day, but the rain put a damper on events that evening. The teen dance had to be shut down an hour early because of heavy rains, but crews were able to button down the hatches to protect equipment and be prepared for Monday. One of the organizers says it takes about an hour to set up the equipment for the show, but the biggest impact will be the weather’s effect on the crowds.

"We found in the past that if it rains right before the show, we might have blue skies at the show," said Todd Stowe, PR Coordinator, Beaufort Water Festival. "Because it rained beforehand, people get a little skittish. If the rain is coming straight down, it’s not blowing hard, it’s no thunder, we can keep going. We can tarp our stuff so it’s not a safety hazard, but thunder, lightning, wind - we don’t want anyone getting hurt out there."

The marketplace was supposed to be open until 7 p.m., and some vendors didn't even decide to open for the day for fear of rain. We stopped by one booth, JJ Signs. It's their first year setting up at the festival, but the owner says they depend on markets like this one for their business. She says business has been great so far with all the foot traffic in the park for the various events, but the looming threat of severe storms does raise some concerns. 

"I've heard horror stories of times past that the water has nowhere to go if it gets so high, and then if the drains don't work because there's nowhere for the water to flow, we raise things up on tables because these are wood pieces and I don't want them to get wet. We put tarps over them in case the tent doesn't do its job," said Joyce Branch, JJ Signs. 

Flooding is always a threat at the Waterfront Park. Before the threat of bad weather, festival staff actually covered the drains to prevent people from tripping over them, but now, they're working on removing the covers so the water can drain as quickly as possible. 

As of now, the gates will open at 7 p.m. and the concert will begin at 8 p.m. Officials have just a few more hours left before they have to make a decision. We'll keep you updated. 

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