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Menominee Nation Arena evacuation center now closed after severe weather threat passes

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 4:21 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2021 at 2:02 AM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - UPDATE 2 A.M. - Red Cross officials say they have now closed the evacuation center at the Menominee Nation Arena set up for those camping on the grounds of EAA AirVenture.

They say the center was closed after the threat of severe weather left the area.

All campers are now able to return to the EAA grounds.

10:35 p.m. UPDATE: The American Red Cross has set up an evacuation center at Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh due to the severe weather headed towards Oshkosh.

The center was set up for those who are attending and camping at the EAA AirVenture grounds.

As reported, the storms have produced tornado warnings, and are expected to move through the region overnight.

The center is located at 1212 S. Main Street, and has electricity, restrooms, water, and a place to ride out the severe weather.

Earlier in the evening, EAA officials announced that anyone camping on the AirVenture grounds who want to shelter elsewhere due to weather conditions will be able to use buses being ran by AirVenture to take them to shelter.

Buses will be running continual routes and pick up attendees at shower buildings and Red One Markets in these areas:

  • Camp Scholler
  • North 40 aircraft camping
  • South 40 aircraft camping
  • Homebuilt aircraft camping

Officials say EAA will first use its Aviation Museum as a temporary shelter, and then use other facilities within Oshkosh.

On Wednesday afternoon, event officials had asked everyone who did not need to be on the grounds to leave by 5 p.m.

INITIAL REPORT 4:21 P.M.: EAA AirVenture officials are asking everyone who doesn’t need to be at the air show to leave the grounds by 5 P.M. because of the threat of a significant storm Wednesday night.

AirVenture will be shutting down most of its operations at Wittman Regional Airport by 5, including exhibit buildings and restaurants. Evening programs, Theater in the Woods and Fly-In Theater are canceled. The night-time air show is rescheduled for tomorrow, July 29.

The airport will be open for departures until 8 P.M. “or as long as practical,” and, “Transportation systems will continue to operate as long as weather conditions allow.”

EAA is reminding everyone with aircraft on the grounds to make sure they’re securely tied down.

People with wristbands should hold on to them. Wednesday wristbands can be exchanged for admission on Thursday at the gates.

An announcement by EAA says it’ll provide additional information and alerts to campers as it becomes necessary.

“Safety is always EAA’s top priority, and given the best forecast information from the National Weather Service, we want to give everyone an opportunity to make decisions in advance,” EAA CEO/chairman Jack Pelton wrote in a statement.

EAA officials announced Wednesday evening that anyone camping on the AirVenture grounds who want to shelter elsewhere due to weather conditions will be able to use busses being ran by AirVenture to take them to shelter.

Buses will be running continual routes and pick up attendees at shower buildings and Red One Markets in these areas:

  • Camp Scholler
  • North 40 aircraft camping
  • South 40 aircraft camping
  • Homebuilt aircraft camping

Officials say EAA will first use its Aviation Museum as a temporary shelter, and then use other facilities within Oshkosh.

The First Alert Weather team predicts the storms will come in several clusters moving from northwest to southwest with wind gusts of 70 MPH. “A tornado or two cannot be ruled out,” Brad Spakowitz says. There’s also a risk of heavy downpours and urban flooding before the storms move away overnight. The WBAY Weather app can be downloaded for free on Apple’s App Store and Google Play (click here on your mobile device).

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