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5 p.m. update: Plans announced for show break-down

Visitors attempting to leave Farm Technology Days late Thursday morning make their way across muddy paths and fields. The show was shut down at 10 a.m. Bob Burrows photo.2 / 2

At 4:30 p.m.Thursday, July 22, organizers of Wisconsin Farm Technology Days issued a statement to vendors, offering guidance on how and when they'll be able to enter the flooded grounds and retrieve their equipment and break down displays.

Executive Secretary Greg Andrews offered the following points:

  • Company vehicles will be allowed to exit Tent City up until 8 p.m., Thursday.
  • By request, grounds personnel will use FTD tractors to pull implement trailers from Tent City and bring them to the FTD loading dock.
  • FTD-provided skid-steer and tele-lift assistance will be available to vendors after 7 a.m., Friday, July 23rd, weather permitting, Andrews said.
  • Haulers arriving Friday morning to retrieve equipment or displays are asked to stop at the FTD loading dock to receive updates and secure assistance in removing items.

Exhibitors are urged to tune to local and area radio stations at 7 a.m., Friday to learn the latest information. Stations Andrews identified include: WIXK (1590 AM); WAXX (104.5 FM); KCUE (1150 AM) and WCCO (830 AM).

For up-to-the-minute information or specific questions, exhibitors may call the headquarters trailer on-site at #715-425-7782.

Thursday, July 22

As of 11:40 a.m. traffic crews were allowing folks parked in the general lots along County Road E to leave the Farm Technology Days site.

"That's the first they started letting people leave the ground," said a spokesman from the show's publicity trailer. He said Tent City is still limited to foot traffic.

Other sources said a tour bus and several other vehicles were mired in mud at the show site.

At 10 a.m., the morning's heavy rainfall had filled the grounds with water and forced the FTD Executive Committee to shut down the show -- six hours ahead of schedule.

Earlier that morning, an announcement was made that electricity to the site was being shut down, but exhibitors, volunteers and visitors were to stay onsite until conditions allowed them to leave.

Andrews said organizers were working with exhibitors to help them close their displays.

Gates opened at 9 a.m. as usual, but the Sheriff's Department only allowed visitors to park along ditches.

The south side of River Falls had received .27 of an inch by 6 a.m., Thursday. National Weather Service forecasters predicted showers would continue through early morning for eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, then partially clear by mid-day.

The show was scheduled to end at 4 p.m. Thursday.