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ECU Says Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium Evacuation Went Well

ECU says Saturday night's evacuation of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium went well, considering there were 47,817 people in the stands.

Fans were evacuated during the second quarter while the UTEP game was delayed for around 80 minutes because of lightning.

The university says this was the first ever full scale evacuation of the stadium that took place due to dangerous weather.

Lt. Chris Sutton with ECU police says they were watching radar and were expecting the evacuation. He said they were pushing people to go to either their vehicles or to Minges Coliseum to wait out the storm. But several fans told us they were unaware of that and left.

Sutton says it took 20 minutes to evacuate the stadium, with 3,000 going to Minges, and another 5-7,000 staying under the stands.

He says only 10,000 fans returned after the storm.

ECU says it's their policy to wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike before fans can return to the stands.


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Thousands of fans were forced to evacuate Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium Saturday night because of storms rolling through the area bringing rain and lightning.

Fans were evacuated during the second quarter while the game was delayed for around 80 minutes.

ECU officials say this was the first ever full scale evacuation of the stadium that took place due to dangerous weather.

Officials plan to hold a press conference to discuss how ECU makes decisions such as this one and the processes and plans for such emergencies.

The stadium can hold 50,000 people. The attendance at Saturday's game was 47,817.


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