Churchill Downs and vendors secure tents after St. Louis death

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - With the Kentucky Derby come a lot of temporary structures and tents at Churchill Downs and the Waterfront. There is renewed concern about these types of structures after weather conditions in St. Louis last weekend caused a tent to collapse, killing one person and injuring dozens more.

At the Louisville Waterfront, temporary structures have formed a temporary city that got hammered by hail on Saturday.

"Oh, we'll move everything around and have, like, ankle deep water flowing through my booth," said artist Noel Skiba.

Skiba's booth is a muddy mess on the ground, but all of her paintings are fine.

"We actually had to add, like, eight sandbags to our regular amount of security," said Skiba.  "It helped."

Others are a little more prepared.

"We were in Indiana, and there was a tornado that was about a half a mile away," said Bob Waite of Air Chair. "Pretty much the only tent withstanding was ours because this frame, this structure was heavy duty."

Saturday's storm at Churchill Downs forced everyone inside as rain poured on the track. Churchill Downs security has a wind and rain plan in place, just in case.

"We've had them go out and made sure that they're suited and steak down quite well," said Rob King Director of Security at Churchill Downs regarding temporary tents around the property.

The Downs also has an evacuation plan, just in case. People in the infield would walk over the track, not through the tunnels.

"Our stairwells are structured for tornado structures," said King. "The ground level is also structured."

That's the worst case scenario; otherwise, vendors are hoping for good weather.

"It's the Kentucky Derby Festival," said Skiba. "Everyone wants to be here, right?"

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