Weekend events have "Plan Bs" due to rain - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Weekend events have "Plan Bs" due to rain

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- With two inches or more of rain expected this weekend, organizers of major outdoor events have had to devise contingency plans in case the wet weather interferes too much.

The Gulf South Conference baseball tournament got off to a dry start Thursday morning at AT&T field. It's the first time the Division II tournament is being played in Chattanooga. Conference commissioner Nate Salant says the event has had a dark cloud following it for quite some time.

"We were in Millington, Tennessee for a long time. We were typically rained out of a day. We were in Rome, Georgia last year. It rained. Now we're here. We face rain," says Salant.

He has no choice but to roll with mother nature's punches.

"That's how it is this time of the year," Salant emphasizes.

Naturally, in case of thunder and lightning games will be delayed or postponed. Players can seek shelter in the dugouts, fans in the concourses. If constant rain or heavy downpours jeopardize the condition of the field, a backup plan is in place to use other facilities and spread out play which will also save time.

"We may have to move games over to Chattanooga State," explains Salant. "There's a possibility of using Lee University's field as well. Many of you know Lee is coming into the Gulf South Conference next year."

Up at Chickamauga Lake the 7th Annual Children's Hospital Dragon Boat Festival kicks off Saturday morning. Dragon Boat Race manager Penny Behling says the event goes on rain or shine.

"We are not at all shy about racing in the rain. The paddlers are going to get wet anyway," says Behling as she laughs a little.

With few places to seek shelter at the wide open venue, teams will bring extra tents to stay dry while on land. Behling says spectators will have access to large tents as well. If thunder roars, contestants will exit the water immediately.

"We'll have all the paddlers evacuate and go to their cars," explains Behling. 

Spectators should do the same. With only the one day available for the races, they won't go unfinished.

"If we have to we will cut some races in the second round and just go straight to finals," says Behling.

Behling adds that she'll check the radar regularly on race day. You can, too, with the iRadar on our web site. There's also a free app for iPhone and Droid, just search "WRCB."

Salant says Friday's games will begin at AT&T Field at 9 a.m., an hour earlier than planned since rain may arrive as early as sundown. If Monday's championship game is postponed Salant says he'll shoot for Tuesday. But the game will be played at one of the alternate fields because the Lookouts will be back in town.

Other outdoor sporting events in the are this weekend include the Scenic City Cup soccer tournament, the ASA Play For The Cure softball Tournament, and the 3 State/3 Mountain Challenge bike race.

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