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Fair officials warn of standing water issue

Clark County Fair officials are hoping this week’s events won’t be a washout after receiving an inch of rainfall Monday with more expected today.

Situated on a former airfield, there are many low-lying areas on the fairgrounds where water can pool, especially where the ground is already saturated, said Johnathan Burr, Clark County Engineer.

“(The grounds do) drain away fairly quickly in the major part of it but it just depends on the year,” Burr said. “When it does flood it typically doesn’t run into the buildings (but) there are some areas that flood where people drive.”

Right now, Burr said he is not concerned about an areas being washed out. However, flooding can be particularly dangerous in areas where power supplies are run, which is why fair-goers are discouraged from walking through standing water, said Amanda Haddix-Griesbaum, public relations coordinator for the fair.

“I know some people want to see their kids play out there (in the) puddles because you think it’s cute or maybe you want to clean your feet off a bit but you never know what’s in the water,” she said. “There could be cords running through it.”

The Swine Arena is a typical site for flooding, but there were only large puddles Monday afternoon. The wet weather kept many guests away, which was disappointing for the hundreds of children and teens involved in the fair shows, said Ben West, advisor for Northeastern school district’s Future Farmers of America program.

“It’s rain or shine for (them). They had to get up and feed that animal every day so this isn’t any different. If it’s raining out they still have to show their animal,” he said.

The Clark County area has already received about 5 inches of rain this month, according to the National Weather Service, and more is expected this afternoon. The fair will remain open, rain or shine, until 10 p.m. weekdays.

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