Sudden storm hits Asheville, destroys Art in the Park tent booths (Video)

A sudden storm struck Buncombe County Saturday afternoon, June 18, with high winds that downed trees, knocked out power and destroyed some tent-booth installations at the Art in the Park event that was taking place in Pack Place at the time.

Local photographer Zen Sutherland captured on video the scene as the storm hit the Art in the Park booths.

The same storm front also passed through Franklin, where the Taste of Scotland Festival was under way. ThunderPig got this video and in the process was sent flying:

The storm was reported on Twitter (in reverse chronological order):

YouTube video: Freakish strong winds tear down tents, wreck art at Art in the Park #avlnews
Jun. 18, 4:46 pm

Downtown Storm Coming – Wind whipping up vendor booths via @youtube #avlnews #avlstorm
Jun. 18, 4:16 pm

Heartbreaking pic RT @wright_emma: #avl art destroyed #avlnews #avlwx #en ex
Jun. 18, 3:38 pm

crazy storm blows away art in the park #avlnews #avlwx
BlogAsheville quoting: wright_emma
Jun. 18, 3:32 pm

Better shot of the eye of the storm as it hit downtown Asheville #avlnews #avlstorm #avlpics
Jun. 18, 2:57 pm

The storm as it came thru Downtown #avlnews #avlpics
Jun. 18, 2:50 pm

Traffic lights out on Hendersonville Rd. #avlwx #avlnews
MaryCaitlinByrd quoting: mxmulder
Jun. 18, 2:49 pm

Power lines down on Murdock Ave. Road is closed to thru traffic. #avlnews
fobes quoting: fillerblog
Jun. 18, 2:34 pm

Mine is flickering in n.avl & internet out (charter) @rsmithshelley: Power’s out in Navl. … #avlnews
fobes quoting: ashivNC
Jun. 18, 2:34 pm

RT @adajers: Power Outage on Merrimon Ave. North #Asheville #avlnews
fobes quoting: AskAsheville
Jun. 18, 2:29 pm

Power outage at #ingles on Tunnel.#avlwx #avlnews
fobes quoting: sandymaxey
Jun. 18, 2:29 pm

Power’s out in North Asheville. Just heard 3 transformers blow. #boom #crash #avlnews
fobes quoting: rsmithshelley
Jun. 18, 2:28 pm

Storm’s coming. #avlwx #avlnews
Jun. 18, 2:18 pm

North of Weaverville: wind picking up very strong. power just flickered. #avlnews
Jun. 18, 2:15 pm

Storm headed our way: Lightning, strong winds that may bring down trees, potentially large hail @AVLWxBlog #avlwx #avlnews
MaryCaitlinByrd quoting: BlogAsheville
Jun. 18, 2:10 pm



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As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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10 thoughts on “Sudden storm hits Asheville, destroys Art in the Park tent booths (Video)

  1. paul_randall

    Several local vendors had products destroyed and you somehow find it appropriate to joke about. How super sweet of you.

  2. whogivesafart

    Thanks to insurance they made more money than trying to sale to unemployed no money, cant spend tourist and locals! I say they done well in just a few minutes!

  3. reasonable

    Whogives… and paul are both correct. Yes, some folks lost a good bit during the quick and sudden squall which is unfortunate. But, of nearly all the towns and cities I’ve lived in in my many decades, Asheville is just about the filthiest, litter-strewn one of the bunch. Every morning on my walks about downtown there are boxes of partially and uneaten take-out leftovers on the sidewalk, cigarette butts by the hundreds and a general appearance of filth that is just disgusting. Also, the number of souls who find it OK to let their dogs defecate on the sidewalk and just walk away is indicative of a lack of good manners and common sense.

    This fair town seems to place a priority on supporting this activity by attracting itinerants rather than discouraging it. If this resonates with your behavior you should be ashamed. I see who leaves the liquor and beer bottles on the sidewalk and the garbage, too. I confront each one I can and they act as if they know it’s wrong only after reproached. Sad, very sad. Being poor is no excuse for being a social boor with bad manners.

  4. lynn

    So you take one disaster and turn it into your opportunity to talk about something that is bothering you? Good one.

  5. zen

    While it had parts that were exciting, it was also terrible as several ceramicists and artists of other genres lost quite a bit of stock. You only hear one big sorta crash, but there were several gusts that weren’t in the video and many learned a lesson of sandbagging their tents better.

    Make sure to visit other Art in the Park events and help them out.

    And, wherever possible, buy local!

  6. Jennifer

    I am a crafts person and display my work using tents at show. 50lbs on each leg is a good weight but really the best thing to do if there is wind is take your roof off of your tent, then there is nothing to blow. Your goods may get wet but that is better than losing it all. Most roofs are only held on with velcro or snaps so it is a fast fix to the problem of high winds. After you have done 6 or more shows you learn that the weather plays a major role in the day of a show. As soon as the wind picks up or there is a major storm coming I pack things up to leave. The event promoters cannot really give you a refund or cancel the event. When you sign up you agree to it despite any bad weather. It is a risk you have to take.

  7. brebro

    Also, most tent manufacturers have an exception for wind damage in their product warranties and won’t replace items damaged and broken from wind (however, I know of one person who took the mangled remains of the $200 cheaply-made tents they had just purchased the day before back to ALDI and received a full refund, no questions asked!)

  8. Big Al

    I feel bad for the artists. They brought fun and whimsy and improved downtown with thier presence.

    I wish the storms would hit Pack Square when the ugly protestors with their silly political agendas are harassing the beautiful people trying to enjoy downtown.

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