The Weight of Water

The Weight of Water

A cubic foot of water weighs 62.42796 pounds. Falling from a height of 16 to 25 feet, 62 pounds can really damage the human frame. 

I mention this because Metroblogging DC and NBC4 report that several people have been injured after taking shelter from a heavy thunderstorm under the Smithsonian Folklife Festival tents on the National Mall. The festival does not open until June 25, but most of the facilities have been built and installed.

I worked on that festival back in the 1980s and got flak from patrons I chased out from under a stage sunshade during a thunderstorm. The canvas sunshade was starting to sag, and I knew a performer at Baltimore’s Harbor Festival had his neck broken the year before when a tent collapsed during a storm.

One of the National Sound guys remembered, too, and helped me chase everyone off the stage. We elevated the mic cables, and somehow boosted the 200-pound soundman high enough so he could puncture the tent fabric with his Buck knife. Water streamed out and we got a good soaking, but we didn’t need to call any ambulances.

Keep the weight of water in mind as you attend festivals and special events this summer.

One Response to “The Weight of Water”

  1. Around the theatre web for June 20, 2008 | Cue To Cue | Living behind the scenes… Says:

    […] In addition to the usual safety issues that we have to worry about, here’s one we frequently forget about, but is very important to keep in mind this touring and festival season: rain on tents and canopies can be heavy. […]

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