Heavy rain expected in Mid-Michigan doesn’t deter weekend plans

Davison wedding reception going on as scheduled with forecast calling for 2 to 3 inches of rain Friday and Saturday
Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 4:31 PM EDT
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MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) - More than 2 inches of rain and localized flooding are possible from a storm system expected to park over Mid-Michigan on Friday and Saturday.

Widespread rain and occasional thunderstorms are likely across the region as a front stalls just to the west. Some locally heavy rainfall will be possible from time-to-time, so flooding could be likely in low-lying areas near small streams and creeks.

Rainfall totals around Mid-Michigan could reach 2 to 3 inches over Friday and Saturday with some areas getting even more where embedded thunderstorms pass. Some severe thunderstorms are possible with gusty winds being the primary threat.

As Mid-Michigan prepares for heavy rain, many outdoor events like fairs, festivals, weddings and open houses are still going on this weekend. That means workers with Valley Tent Rental have a big job on their hands.

Two large tents went up in the backyard of a Davison home for a wedding reception ahead of what’s supposed to be a not-so-pleasant weekend.

“Rain or shine we’re setting tents up,” said Justin Raybuck of Valley Tent Rental. “Unless there’s thunderstorms and we see lightning, then we won’t set up the tents. But just rain, wind -- we’re still putting up tents and making sure they’re extra secure.”

Ken Arterburn isn’t exactly a fan of the forecast, but he’s certainly not going to let the rain dampen his or the 150 other peoples spirits he’s expecting for his son’s reception.

“I’ve seen Flint before and the rains come in and they split us. That’s going to happen again, right?” he said.

Arterburn is hosting the reception on Saturday months after his son got married in a small ceremony limited by COVID-19 restrictions last February at the Holly Hotel. Valley Tent Rental is providing temporary shelter and a dance floor in his backyard.

Arterburn is ready to celebrate rain or shine. He’s just hoping for no flooding in the yard.

“We are hoping for an absolutely fantastic time,” he said. “Getting through COVID and just getting together is wonderful. If it rains or not, we’re going to enjoy this. It’s going to be great.”

It takes a crew of six about two hours to unroll the tents out of the truck and set them up before setting up lights, tables, chairs, walls and a dance floor. The teardown process next Tuesday means more work for the crew.

“Taking out the stakes and such -- yeah, it’s a little bit easier -- but we do run into the problem with the rain,” Raybuck said. “These tents get super super heavy, so they get really hard to fold up and roll, and also when it rains these tents tend to get a little more dirty.”

All the tents, tables and chairs will be power washed, dried, folded up and put away until the next occasion.

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