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Storms may put a damper on Halloween

Sara McManamy-Johnson sjohnson@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 15, 2015 at 11:38 AM

Severe weather could put a damper on Wilson County’s Halloween plans, according to forecasters.

“[As of Tuesday], the National Weather Service is still forecasting [a strong cold] front to move through on Thursday with the potential for severe weather in the form of damaging winds and heavy downpours lasting into the evening hours,” said Capt. Steve Spencer of the Wilson Emergency Management Agency.

The main threat is damaging straight-line winds, but tornadoes and hail could be possible.

The forecast Monday suggested rainfall totals could range from 1-2 inches for the county.

Spencer said Tuesday that forecasters would likely be able to pinpoint the timing of the weather system with more accuracy as Thursday draws closer.

Lebanon officials, though, are not taking any chances with Halloween on the Square.

The event will be held Friday from 5-8 p.m., according to Sue Vanatta of the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce.

Other cities in Wilson County are suggesting parents considering taking their children trick-or-treating Thursday pay close attention to the weather.

“If strong to severe storms roll through during the trick-or-treating hours, it would not be safe for children to be out in that environment. So, parents should be considering a Plan-B just in case Halloween is stormed out,” according to Mt. Juliet police.

Police cautioned that cars pose the biggest danger to children on Halloween, and heavy rain further limits visibility to drivers.

Additionally, it makes it harder for children to see where they are going. Wet roads, sidewalks, porches and grass will create a slick environment that could lead to more falls and injuries as well.

City officials for Mt. Juliet and Watertown said that since trick-or-treating is not a city-sponsored activity, they would not tell residents when trick-or-treating would be held.

“As Halloween is not an event scheduled by city or county government, we are advising people to use their own judgment,” said Watertown Mayor Mike Jennings. “Whether to allow their children out into inclement weather is a parental decision, and whether to open the door to trick-or-treaters during inclement weather is that of the homeowner. If the weather is truly too bad to allow either to happen, then I suspect that people will try to have Halloween [Friday] evening.”

Mt. Juliet police said that the department would increase patrol staff levels for Friday and the remainder of the weekend if trick-or-treating were rained out Thursday.

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