Multiple events scheduled during severe weather this weekend

AUSTIN (KXAN) — We’re just days away from severe weather. Heavy rain and flooding risks are expected this weekend.

Heavy rain, flooding risk this weekend

At the same time, Central Texas will be full of events drawing big crowds.

Rain in the forecast each day through at least Monday
Rain in the forecast each day through at least Monday

Some scheduled events this weekend are:

Regarding UT’s scrimmage, the university said all events are planned to go on as scheduled for now.

“The University follows normal protocol by activating its Emergency Operations Center for all major events and football games inside Royal-Memorial Stadium. We constantly monitor weather conditions and make appropriate announcements as warranted to help keep our campus community and visitors safe.”

The University of Texas at Austin

‘Safety is our number one priority’

Austin Reggae Festival Organizer Walsh Costigan said if there is light rain, the show will go on as planned.

“We will pause the music and let the rain pass. We are hoping if it’s a shower, it’s just a quick little shower,” Costigan said. “If there is lightning or anything more intense, we will pause the show and let that get out of the vicinity as well.”

Costigan said this is their 29th year hosting this. It’ll be at Auditorium Shores from Friday to Sunday.

“It’s filled with great music and delicious food,” Costigan said. “Since our launch in 1994, we have been the largest annual fundraiser for the Central Texas Food Bank.”

They believe there will be probably about 25,000 people across the three days.

Austin Reggae Fest 2024

“It’s important to note safety is our number one priority,” Costigan said. “Then raising money for the food bank is number two.”

Costigan said The Central Texas Food Bank serves 270,000 people each month– one third of them are children.

“Over the last five years alone, this event has helped provide more than 2.5 million meals to hungry families in Travis County and surrounding areas,” Costigan said.

When it comes to the weather, Costigan said they’ll be monitoring it closely.

“We have an entire team and command post just keeping an eye on this,” Costigan said. “If anything does look like it is about to approach, we do have a plan. We would announce that everybody needs to go across the street into the Long Center parking garage. We’ll allow everybody to wait there until the weather is safe enough for people to come back over to the shores.”

The Texas Whiskey Festival is another event scheduled over the weekend. Organizers sent a statement to KXAN about their weather plan.

“Our event is rain or shine, so if our wonderful Texas weather misbehaves, we have a plan to keep people safe. Star Hill Ranch is a beautiful venue with many historic buildings to house our distilleries, vendors, and guests. Moving to a rain plan changes the experience slightly, so we continue to look at ways to maximize the guest experience. You might get a little wet from building to building, so bring an umbrella, grab one of our ponchos, and join us for a whiskey good time.”

Jake Clements, Texas Whiskey Festival

‘We should be prepared’

Austin’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is also helping prepare for severe weather.

“This time of year, we’re taking a look closely at thunderstorms, potential for flooding, hail damage, a lot of folks just experienced that,” said the office’s Public Information Officer Sara Henry.

It hosted its monthly emergency preparedness pop-up on Wednesday. Henry said they pass out supply kits to the first 25 guests.

“Things like light sources, lanterns, the glow sticks that you break that stay on if you lose power.”

Sarah Henry, Austin’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Henry said there are multiple public safety agencies at the event:

  • Austin Police Department

  • Austin Fire Department

  • Austin-Travis County EMS

  • Austin Public Health

  • Ascension Seton Emergency response Team

  • Austin Energy

Henry said this event is important to educate people on the wide range of potential emergencies in the area.

“Whether it’s flooding, whether it’s extreme heat, severe winter events, you know, everyone in our community should understand the types of hazards that we see here locally in the Austin region,” Henry said “We should be prepared for those in advance.”

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