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Storm During ‘Made In America’ Concert Offers First Live Test Of Evacuation Plan

(credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for American Eagle)

(credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for American Eagle)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When lightning forced the audience at the ‘Made In America’ music festival to evacuate, city officials say it was the first time they got to test a plan that’s been on paper for years.

With all of the events that take place along the Ben Franklin Parkway, city officials say Sunday was the first time it ever had to be evacuated. Emergency Management Director Samantha Phillips says it went well, but there were lessons learned.

“We learned some things about human behavior,” she says. “It’s really difficult to evacuate people. It’s nearly impossible to evacuate people twice, so when that second band of weather came in, we had to really monitor the tempo of the crowd.”

Phillips says when people have paid a lot of money for a good time — and they’re already wet — they may not have that sense of urgency when they hear thunder rumble. But, of the tens of thousands of people on the Parkway, no one was hurt, and that is the goal.

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