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Delaware keeps wary eye on Joaquin

 (file/WHYY, National Hurricane Center)

(file/WHYY, National Hurricane Center)

As Hurricane Joaquin churns towards an uncertain destination, event organizers in Delaware are closely monitoring its progress.

The storm is slowly making it’s way north with sustained winds at 85 mph as of 2 p.m. Wednesday. A lack of certainty about where Joaquin will end up is causing lots of question marks for those planning weekend events. 

The biggest impact will be on tens of thousands of NASCAR fans planning to be in Dover for races on Friday, Saturday and especially Sunday. The Dover event is the first elimination race of NASCAR’s Chase playoff format, meaning the storm could have impact on the points race as well.

Officials at Dover International Speedway have been peppered with questions from fans via social media. The track’s official Twitter account has repeated the same answer throughout the day: “Any weather-related updates will be posted on social media and our website as soon as possible.” According to a statement on the tracks website, “As of now, we are full steam ahead with our plans for the upcoming race weekend.”

A little further south of Dover, the University of Delaware’s annual Coast Day event is also in jeopardy. Ironically, the day which celebrates scientific efforts at the school’s Lewes campus to understand ocean life and activity could be canceled.

A statement on UD’s Coast Day website said, “We work closely with University of Delaware Public Safety, the Office of the Delaware State Climatologist housed here at UD, the National Weather Service and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency to monitor weather during major storm events such as this.” A decision on whether Coast Day will be cancelled is expected by 10 a.m. on Friday.

Further inland, the Wings and Wheels plane and car show at the Delaware Coastal Airport in Georgetown has already been canceled. “Of course, we are incredibly disappointed to have to cancel this great festival on Saturday,” said a statement on the Wings and Wheels website. “But the safety of our guests, our vendors and all our volunteers and participants is our primary concern.”

If the forecast continues for more rain, wind and even coastal flooding, expect more and more events to cancel or postpone as well. 

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