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What happens if a severe storm hits the Indy 500

Potential for severe weather to impact Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — All eyes will be on the skies during the Memorial Day weekend, particularly at the Indianapolis 500, the world’s largest one-day sporting event.

Doug Boles, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said around noontime Friday, “We are about 48 hours away right now and know that something is probably coming. We are staying in touch with the National Weather Service and a lot of other folks and met several times a day.”

The race is set to start at 12:45 p.m. Sunday at the oval.

Weather reports were indicating severe weather was threatening to impact the race that’s expected to draw more than 300,000 people.

So, spectators could wonder, what would happen if things take a turn for the worst? Where do they go if tornadoes and damaging gusts appear?

Boles said, “We were designed 115 years ago. So, we don’t have those storm locations like some other venues do.”

Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials said Friday, before rain fell in the afternoon, that they were closely monitoring the weather and would make necessary adjustments to the schedule to keep race fans safe.

When the Friday afternoon rain hit, videoboards at the track warned fans to take shelter from lightning.

Boles said around noontime, “We will be putting it in our videoboards and through the PA (public-address systems), and make sure we communicate as much as we can. In fact, we will do a weather radar so people aren’t surprised by it. I’m staying in a camper. No matter where I go with that camper and severe weather is coming, my camper is probably not the best place to be, nor someone’s tent.”

Boles says he’s hopeful that the race will go on as planned.