HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) - Stormy weather forced everyone to seek shelter at the Erie County Fair this weekend.
Morning storms did not scare away fairgoers on Saturday because skies had cleared to sunny conditions. There may have been temporary sunshine, but Hamburg would later experience at least two bouts of powerful storms.
The Erie County Fair's attendance for the final day was only slightly below average, even though forecasts were calling for a day filled with on and off thunderstorms. It was around 11:30 on Sunday that the storm started to move in from Lake Erie. By 12:09, the area was experiencing very heavy rain and the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning until 1 p.m. for Erie County.
At 12:15, dime-sized hail was reported at the fair and at around 12:30, reports of wind damage came out. A few tents were blown over and trees had limbs blown down. The National Weather Service reported a wind gust of 37 mph nearby.
Underpasses started to flood and Route 75 was closed because of flooding around 12:45. Radar estimated that between 1.5 - 2 inches of rain fell during that storm. According to flooding forecasts, that area can only handle up to 2.25 inches in a three-hour period.
Jessica Underberg, the assistant manager of the fair, said that other then a few rides having to be temporarily shutdown, the area most effected was the livestock. The drainage was not able to handle that much rain that quickly. Though it moved in and out quickly, it wasn't the last storm to hit the fair on Sunday. Another round swung through that evening.
Though Saturday and Sunday saw fast-moving storms that dropped buckets of water in a short-time period, for the most part, the weather has cooperated with the fair this year. Fairgoers set an attendance record, with over one million coming through the gates - a three percent increase from last year.
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