NC State Fair officials monitoring fairgrounds due to severe weather risk

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A meteorologist was on site at the NC State Fair Tuesday as there was a risk for severe weather.

“It was really windy and it was really scary actually,” said one Ferris Wheel rider. 

The North Carolina Department of Labor said it “is proactively assessing the fairgrounds to identify any potential hazards. If the winds reach 25 mph, an abundance of caution will be taken and all of the Ferris wheels will be shut down.”

Ride brakes will also be open so they can freely spin in the wind to reduce friction, according to the department. It’s a similar process for cranes in severe weather.

If rides have to be reassembled due to storm damage, state workers will inspect them before they re-open.

“We’re always watching the weather. We’re always watching for any hazards to our visitors,” said NC State Fair Manager Kent Yelverton.

Yelverton said some rides automatically turn off with different wind speeds.

Visitors prepared with umbrellas and rain boots on Tuesday and said they weren’t deterred by the chance of rain.

“The weather’s not too bad, it’s good weather to go to the fair. Nice, warm, not too warm and not rainy” said one visitor from Germany.

Fair managers said they’re always checking the forecast to make sure they give fair vendors and vendors plenty of notice if booths need to be secured or if rides need to be closed.

“We may advise people to go indoors. We have a lot of indoor activity that people can go and enjoy while they’re waiting the storm out,” said Yelverton.

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