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Esplanade Evacuated Due To Threat Of Severe Weather

BOSTON (CBS) - The Esplanade was evacuated for nearly a half-hour during the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular due to severe storms in the area Tuesday night.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones reports


A severe thunderstorm warning was issued in Essex County north of Boston and authorities did not want to take any chances.

An announcement came on the P.A. system telling the crowd to seek shelter.

Massachusetts State Police troopers ushered the crowd into the Storrow Drive tunnels to wait out the storm. An estimated 500,000 people were in the area at the time.

Shortly after 10 p.m., the crowd, which had been singing in the tunnels to pass the time, was allowed to return. The storm missed the city.

A State Police spokesman defended the decision saying, "lightning was observed along nearby areas of the Charles River in Boston and in neighboring communities. The decision to evacuate was the prudent one, made in the interest of the safety of the thousands upon thousands of visitors. It was a seamless operation."

State Police say there were no injuries during the evacuation.

The show featured performances by the Boston Pops, Dropkick Murphys, Jennifer Hudson and the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters.

The show was delayed just before the Pops were going to perform the 1812 Overture.

The Overture segment of the show was cancelled.  WBZ-TV showed footage of Tuesday night's rehearsal during the brief delay.

The fireworks went on as planned.

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