ROWAN COUNTY — As storms rippled through much of Rowan County over the weekend, many residents were relieved.
After weeks of steadily rising summer temperatures, the opportunity to cool off with a quick summer shower was a welcome opportunity.
Unfortunately, those brief summer showers turned out to be a whole lot more in some parts of the region, leading to the cancellation of multiple events around the county.
The storms included a series of powerful cells bringing lightning and heavy rain that repeatedly swept through Rowan and surrounding counties on Friday evening, with more arriving later on Saturday and Sunday as well.
As a result of this, the Reels & Riffs series had to cancel its screening of “Ghostbuster Afterlife” at City Park in Salisbury on Friday evening.
On Sunday, Kannapolis was forced to take similar measures when another round of rainy weather led local officials to close down activities at Village Park for children and cancelling their own Movies in the Park event as the rain persisted.
The rain also impacted the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers and their ability to start an afternoon game on Sunday, leading to a delay as groundskeepers hurried to protect the field while players and fans alike waited out the weather.
These cancellations have raised questions about just how possible it is to plan outdoor social events in Rowan County when strong storms regularly pass through the region on a consistent basis for the summer season.
Speaking with local officials for Salisbury and Kannapolis, there is a confidence that such events can continue, however, due to a proactive approach to anticipating and planning around any weather-related issues.
Annette Privette Keller, the director of communications for Kannapolis, explained that, “usually our events are rain or shine, but if there is lightning or more severe weather, we will consider a cancellation.”
Keller pointed out that Kannapolis has not canceled any previous movies for the public this year and that this decision was only made after consideration that rain had been falling for hours, the showers were expected to continue, and the temperatures were unseasonably cold.
Vivian Koontz, the events coordinator for Salisbury, said that they take a lot of factors into consideration before deciding how to handle a scheduled event when inclement weather is on the horizon.
Koontz explained that, “summer storms often come with high winds which are dangerous to our movie-goers” and could potentially damage the city’s screening equipment as well.
Salisbury works to assure that when these events occur, contingencies are in place. Whether it involves notifying the crowd in advance so they don’t arrive to find the event canceled, or adding a make-up date on their calendar to reschedule a canceled event, officials are mindful of the possibility for inclement weather.
The impact of these storms may continue in the coming weeks and months as the summer heat and humidity only leads to new storm cells passing through the region, according to the National Weather Service.