Thunder advice changes due to the weather

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's one of Louisville's signature events, and officials are scrambling to make sure a little weather doesn't rain on their parade! Mother Nature has already impacted the show, and officials are responding.

2nd Street Bridge is closed Friday, and is usually booming with traffic; but Saturday it will be booming with a fireworks show. The star attractions will come from the bridge, but there's another star that's not so welcome trying to grab hold of the show: flooding. That has officials look at plan B.

In most places, it's only something you hear; but for 21 years, thunder has been something you see in Louisville.  Yet where you see and hear it this year, will change.

"3rd to 6th streets are going to be closed, that used to be a good spot to come watch it, but we've got plenty of room on the east side of the venue," said Michael Tully of the Thunder Committee.

So as flood waters take over the west, Thunder and it's massive crowds take over the east.  Plenty of security will make sure that crime doesn't take over the show.

"We'll have 1,400 officers on the venue site," said Ja Hillebrand, the 2011 KDF Chair.

Some of those had another chance to get a lay of the land before the big event late Friday morning and afternoon. Dozens of agencies team up to keep everyone safe, including the Coast Guard, who actually hopes they're alone on the water this year.

"If you have a recreational boat on the water and it does get hit by a piece of debris, it can foul your prop, it can foul your rutters, which could make it increasingly difficult to maneuver," said Derek Schade with the U. S. Coast Guard.

As swift currents move water and debris, it can also drag boats right along with it.

"If you do not have a proper anchor, the strong current that's present in the water can drag your anchor and move you around so it's very hazardous conditions," Schade said.

But in the air, the news is better!

"They had some concerns a day or so ago about the winds; the winds are not a concern, the cloud cover will be high enough and I think the ceiling heights going to be in the 25-2700 feet which means they'll have plenty of visibility for all their acts, so none of that will be affected," Hillebrand said.

In addition to a slightly longer fireworks show, there's a new show right before it, KDF Chair Ja Hillebrand sharing the secret with WAVE 3.

"The star jammer plane is a plane with 10,000 LED lights, possibly red, white, and blue and it will be really neat at night time right before the fireworks," Hillebrand said.

While severe weather could do more than dampen the show, everyone is optimistic Mother Nature will let the show go on.

"A little bit of rain isn't going to impact us," Tully said.

Officials will continue to monitor the weather right up to the event. Only severe storms and lightning could delay or cancel the show.

The coast guard says hypothermia is also a concern, due to chilly temperatures if someone were to end up in the river.

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