Rochester area battening down the hatches for high winds Saturday

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Events across the Rochester area are battening down the hatches for rough weather.

The forecast for a blast of high wind is bringing precautions, and cancellations in places like the ROC Holiday Village, which will be closing early on Saturday, just in case.

“A snow day, I think we can come back from snow and be OK, unless it’s like a blizzard situation,” said Village co-founder Sean McCarthy. “It’s more the high winds, because that’s where people can get hurt.”

McCarthy admits watching the weather forecast for Saturday has delivered a pretty clear mandate.

“This past Monday, it went down from 60 to 50 mph,” he explained. “This morning went from 60 to 70 and 75. So that’s going in the wrong direction for us.”

High winds may make this festival of fun, unsafe, so it’ll be closing down at 3 p.m. and all evening events are canceled, and not because of its numerous tents, strapped down to about 40,000 lbs of concrete weights, or the Igloo Village, anchored with tons of sandbags.

“People say, ‘Is the tents you’re worried about it, the big things?’ No. We’re not as worried about those. It’s honestly garbage cans, Porta-potties, heaters,” he said. “The plan is, right about 2–3 p.m. batten down the hatches, Get anything that could be a projectile, indoors.”

That includes the numerous lightweight plastic Adirondack chairs. All those flourishes will be moved indoors, even the big menorah.

In Irondequoit, where elaborate Christmas decorations have become a major attraction, some homeowners tell News10NBC they’re coming down until the winds pass.

But on Endicar Drive, Steve Allen said he’s trying not to overreact.

“The animated, the dancing Santa, the more expensive things we will probably secure late,” he said, “and make sure they’re put away. But, again, this stuff is designed to be outdoors. If you stick it in really really well, you should be fine.”

Allen said he remembers Irondequoit getting blasted by winds in 2017 but he says there’s no way all of his display could come down and be put back up again, so he’ll batten down as much as possible, then do repairs as needed.

“The wind direction looks to be out of the southwest,” he said. “The house should bear most of the problems with that, give us a bit of a break and be a barrier. And whatever happens, happens. We’ll put it together on Sunday and be up for Sunday night.”

After closing on Saturday, The ROC Holiday Village promised to make it up to the public. It’ll be open for an extra day next Tuesday.