Thunder Over Louisville preparing for reduced air show

Thunder Over Louisville preparing for reduced air show
Thunder Over Louisville Fireworks
Thunder Over Louisville (Source: John P. Wise/File Photo)
Thunder Over Louisville (Source: John P. Wise/File Photo)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Rain could keep planes out of the sky for portions of the Thunder Over Louisville air show Saturday.

"I'm concerned about it," said Wayne Hettinger, the show's producer. "We're keeping an eye on it."

He and others are waiting until Saturday to make any final calls.

"The crews outside are really pushing out to try to stay ahead of the rain and try to get everything in place," Hettinger said.

Mike Riordan is the air boss for the show, handling all the plane activity.

"Even when we've had bad weather, we've always pressed on and had an air show, so don't let a weather forecast scare you off," Riordan said.

>> BOOKMARK THIS: Updated weather forecast

There are three types of air shows, and Riordan said if the forecast predictions hold, there will be what's known as a flat show, or the most reduced

"Our intention is for them to not really see a difference other than saying 'don't they usually go higher than that,'" Riordan said. "They can't do some of the more fancy maneuvers like loops. It's a more controlled environment."

The permit allows for anything down to three miles of visibility and a 1,500-foot ceiling. If predictions are right, clouds from the rain will be too low for anyone to fly during certain periods. But Riordan is holding out hope.

"No matter how bleak the forecast looks, sometimes they're not right," he said.

On the water, the Coast Guard said it's keeping an eye out, too.

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"I've never seen it at 100 percent rain predicted, so that'll be something we'll have to work with," USCG spokesman Lt. Karl Garrison said.

There's a chance they'll tell boaters to stay off the river.

"It is going to be dangerous if the water levels do increase rapidly," Garrison said.

Organizers said a date change to wait for better weather is out of the question.

"We are in fact closing roads down, closing the river down, rerouting air traffic," Hettinger said.

Outside of a spontaneous tornado happening, some form of the Thunder show will go on.

"We've been working on it for a solid year," Hettinger said. "We want it to be perfect."

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