SYRACUSE, NY...A tornatic rain and wind storm that ripped through the New York State Fairgrounds around 1:30 a.m., Monday morning, was responsible for the death of two people and major building damages to the New York State Fairgrounds. This...
SYRACUSE, NY...A tornatic rain and wind storm that ripped through the New York State Fairgrounds around 1:30 a.m., Monday morning, was responsible for the death of two people and major building damages to the New York State Fairgrounds. This same storm went through Auburn, Port Bryon, Elbridge and continued east with gale force winds of up to 80 mph. In it's path lay downed trees and power lines forcing government officials to declare States of Emergencies in many towns and villages.
DIRT Motorsports officials canceled both the State Fair Stock Car races and the Robert N. Petrocci Memorial race run at Rolling Wheels Raceway on Labor Day evening.
New York State Fair directors decided to evacuate the Fairgrounds around 3 a.m., and closing down the Fair for it's final day of annual operations, Labor Day. Injures were also reported across the region, including injuries at Rolling Wheels Raceway, where campers were parked awaiting the 27th annual running of the Robert N. Petrocci Memorial.
"The Fair race was not possible due to the Fair officials closing the Fair for the day," stated promoter Glenn Donnelly. "Onondaga County was declared in the State of Emergency, thus closing the highways to anything but emergency travel. Obviously an auto race is not an emergency. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of those people killed by this storm at the Fairgrounds."
Modified Competition director, Gary Spaid, was in the infield at the Fairgrounds, camping, when the storm hit. He related, "The winds were so fierce, I believe that if the campers and trailers were not so closely parked there would have been even more deaths. The winds slapped around the camper I was in for nearly 40 minutes. The stage that was being disassembled was knock to the ground on the cider track by the winds. Everywhere you looked there was darkness due to the power outages."
Promoter Glenn Donnelly will be contacting the Fairgrounds on the possibility of securing a date to run the 49th annual stock car races, along with the New York State demolition derby championships, which he also promotes.
"A lot will be determined concerning a make up date by the situation at the Fairgrounds. Almost every building suffered some damage," Donnelly added. "A decision will be made during this coming week and we will notify everyone through the press."