SPOKANE, Wash. --- Riverfront Park is not taking any chances with Friday's wind storm. They are planning to close the SkyRide and Riverfront Park Carousel on Friday. The Chinese Lantern Festival is planning on staying open.
Riverfront Park was hit pretty badly by a storm last year, so the park has made some upgrades to the Chinese Lantern Festival.
"This wind storm is going to blow by, literally, and we'll still be able to operate during that time hopefully,” said Jon Moog, Director of Riverfront Park.
Park officials said that the storm that happened last year, taught them a lesson to be more prepared.
Cement blocks and anchors are just a few of the precautions Riverfront Park is taking to make sure the Chinese Lantern Festival runs smoothly.
Anchors, cement boxes, and steel frames are just a few things officials have put in place to protect the Chinese Lantern Festival. pic.twitter.com/xhwHDo6RR5— Bre Clark (@KREMBre) October 14, 2016
"I think the experience and the package and the quality of that package is so much better than last year,” said Moog.
Even the though the festival was wrapping up when last year’s wind storm rolled around, it still caused quite a bit of damage.
Almost 30 trees fell throughout the park in total.
Urban Foresters said, since this is more of a moderate wind storm, it is hard to predict what damage the storm will cause this year.
"With the foliage on the trees, being October not November, with the moisture. There is more uncertainty about how the trees are going to respond,” said Angel Spell, of Urban Forestry.
Experts said they always work to keep trees strong and doubt they will be facing the kind of damage that happened during last year’s storm.
Still, park officials said they have safety precautions in place.
"If it is at all unsafe, because you cannot control the trees, we are prepared to close the lantern festival as we would anywhere else in the park, should something be dangerous,” said Moog.
Park officials say they are prepared to shut down the festival and other areas of the park, if winds present a danger to visitors. pic.twitter.com/Rpf2Hm3jok— Bre Clark (@KREMBre) October 14, 2016
Park officials said they believe the winds should die down by 5 p.m. on Friday night.
The Chinese Lantern Festival should be open on Friday at 5 p.m.
Keep an eye on the Riverfront Park Facebook page for any updates on closures and safety precautions.
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