D.C. preps for holiday concert amid Hurricane Arthur
(WJLA) - There were ominous clouds hanging over the Capitol this morning as rehearsals got underway for Friday night’s concert, “A Capital Fourth.”
But some who came to check out the scheduled rehearsal were disappointed after it was announced closed to the general public due to weather concerns.
"There's no reason to cancel. We need to be more flexible at these kinds of things," said visitor Sally Grans-Korsh of Arlington, Virginia.
Storms rolled through earlier Thursday afternoon, forcing U.S. Capitol Police to evacuate the area -- though the weather was much improved by the time rehearsal began.
The rehearsal is popular since it's less crowded, but this year it went on before mostly empty seats. And many of those who couldn't get in won't be back tomorrow.
Still, the actual show will go on from Friday, though Hurricane Arthur and its impact are on the minds of performers and the show’s host. The 8 p.m. event night may feel the side effects of Arthur – which may ultimately be good news.
“Based on what I've seen so far, it’s likely to impact our dress rehearsal but could very well give us the best weather for the actual show that we've had in several years,” said event host Tom Bergeron.
The fireworks display is set to begin at 9:10 p.m. Friday night. The National Park Service says it will make the call as late as possible to make sure there is reason to postpone or cancel the event.
“One of the things that will cancel it is high winds – that's our big concern right now. We can shoot off fireworks in the rain, but not really heavy rain, and we can't do it in lightning or high wind,” said Carol Johnson with NPS.
With the large crowds, many are grabbing downtown hotel rooms – a plus for Elliott Ferguson, the CEO of Destination D.C:
"So the hotels are happy, the restaurants are happy and we're just excited having folks coming into the city."
However, security is a concern for the concert as metal detectors are set up and the FBI prepares its command center.