Forecast alters trick-or-treating

By CLAIRE MOORMAN
Herald Staff Writer

Town officials were monitoring the weather today as local children prepare to don costumes for what could be a stormy Halloween.

The Weather Channel predicts that widespread thunderstorms will sweep through southern Indiana on Thursday afternoon and evening, creating wind gusts of 30 to 35 mph and a 100 percent chance of rain during the day. The report also mentions the possibility of a brief tornado in the area.
AccuWeather calls for an 80 percent chance of rain in the afternoon to be reduced to a 55 percent chance in the evening.

In light of the weather reports, Jasper Mayor Terry Seitz has extended official trick-or-treat hours to include Friday evening from 6 to 8 o’clock. Thursday’s trick-or-treat, scheduled for the same hours, is not canceled if weather permits, but in a press release Seitz encouraged parents to use discretion in venturing out onto city streets.

Huntingburg also will extend its official hours to Friday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and keep the Thursday hours at those same times as well. The National Weather Service’s forecast for Friday calls for sun and temperatures in the mid-60s.

“People can make the call whether or not they go out (on Halloween),” said Rachel Steckler, communications director for Huntingburg. A press release from the city urges families outside during inclement weather to use caution. Steckler also mentioned that the Huntingburg Volunteer Fire Department and its auxiliary will keep their trick-or-treat event at the First Street fire station Thursday evening so children can take pictures with the fire crew, but the trucks likely will be kept inside.

Ferdinand Town Council President Ken Sicard has added Friday hours from 6 to 8 p.m. to the trick-or-treat schedule. The town will keep its hours on Halloween from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sicard says that homeowners who do not want to participate in the extra day should not turn on their porch lights.

Huntingburg United Methodist Church will still hold its haunted trail event from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday as planned, but church administrative assistant Connie Evans said the celebration will be moved from the city park to inside League Stadium if the weather gets bad.

A Town of Santa Claus representative said the town will match its plans to those of Christmas Lake Village, which has canceled its Thursday evening trick-or-treat hours and moved them to 5 to 8 p.m. CDT Friday.

Birdseye has no plans to extend trick-or-treat hours, according to a town representative. The hours are from 6 to 8 p.m. on Halloween. Holland has trick-or-treat hours planned for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. today; on Thursday, the annual community party will be held indoors at the Holland Elementary School gymnasium at 6 p.m.

Dale hours are from 4 to 8 p.m. CDT on Halloween, and as of this morning town officials had not announced any plans to change them.

This is the first time in several years that municipalities have had to scramble for Halloween backup plans. Jasper hasn’t recorded precipitation on Halloween since 2009, when .12 inches fell in the city. Huntingburg last absorbed Halloween rainfall when it collected four-tenths of an inch in 2006; the same year, Jasper registered 0.43 inches.

Contact Claire Moorman at cmoorman@dcherald.com.




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