The storm that accompanied this year's College World Series opening ceremony was another reminder that when it comes to big-crowd events, people are responsible for their own well-being.
As the series' opening festivities were hitting full stride June 14, and thousands of people were milling about downtown, a potent storm developed in nearby Saunders County.
Emergency officials had already been preparing.
Earlier in the evening, the threat of severe weather had been serious enough that the Douglas County Emergency Management Agency had activated its spotter network, said Paul Johnson, the director.
And because people and traffic would be crowding into downtown for CWS festivities, emergency officials and the National Weather Service went a step further, he said.
The weather service sent meteorologist Barbara Mayes downtown, to the county's emergency operation center, so that emergency officials could speak directly with her during what was likely to be a chaotic evening.
Her expertise would be needed.
According to Mayes, the storm was traveling toward downtown Omaha at about 45 mph and capable of delivering winds of 70 mph or greater.
“It looked pretty nasty,” she said.
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The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
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