Rain doesn't stop Fort Gordon fireworks

The Fort Gordon annual Independence Day event kicked off a couple hours late as event coordinators watched the forecast and looked out for dangerous weather.

Fort Gordon fireworks, carnival, rains don't stop it 2013.

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, July 3, 2013

FORT GORDON, Ga. (WRDW) -- A few dark clouds weren't going to stop Katrina Stone from hitting the Fort Gordon Fourth of July festivities.

"We didn't hesitate at all," Stone said. "And we figured, even if the fireworks didn't go off, we'd sit around and have a good time and enjoy the day."

Stone, her family and her church group have been coming to this fireworks event for the last 10 years.

She says they've never had to worry about rainy weather like this before.

"I think this is the first time," she said. "It didn't stop us."

The rainy forecast didn't stop many, and with hundreds still expected to show up, the main concern became safety.

The event coordinator tells News 12 they have a sophisticated system to detect lightning.

"We installed about five or six years ago a lightning detection system," explained James Green, the Fort Gordon Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation Director. "It automatically goes off, and the sirens go off."

Green says they kept a close eye on the system all day. And, instead of the sounds of sirens, folks were treated to a live concert and several activities including a Ferris wheel, carousel and tilt-a-wheel.

Along with Stone, hundreds showed up, ready for a downpour and ready to share in celebrating on a day that means so much to so many.

"It's a good time to remember all the sacrifices that have been made for our independence," said Marine Pfc. David Estrada.

And as for Stone and her family, she says they'll be back again next year, rain or shine.

"Just the fact that we celebrate our country's birthday and we support our military. And we have it all right here in Augusta. We don't hesitate at all," she said.

Green tells News 12 the rain did kick up just before the fireworks show at 9 p.m., but there was no threat of lightning, so they went ahead, and he says they had an amazing show.

The crowd had thinned out a bit by then, though Green says they only had about half the amount of guests than they normally have every year.


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