WFO El Paso WCM John Fausett on duty with EM personnel at the university EOC during boxing match (Photo: WFO El Paso)
(June 26, 2012) - At the request of emergency management officials from El Paso County and the University of Texas at El Paso, the National Weather Service forecast office at El Paso, provided weather support for an outdoor, nationally-televised boxing event on Saturday, June 16.
Held at the university's Sun Bowl Stadium, the event was attended by up to 15,000 people from both the United States and Mexico. The main event on the card featured middleweights Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Andy Lee.
University of Texas: El Paso Police Chief Cliff Walsh (Photo: UTEP)
The staff coordinated with emergency management officials Friday afternoon allowing them to take action in order to avoid injuries during the preparatory phase of the event. There was damage to the ring, some lighting fixtures and some of the floor seating, but none of the personnel engaged in the preparation were injured.
The following day, National Weather Service personnel provided weather support throughout the afternoon and evening at the university's emergency operations center, providing frequent updates for law enforcement officers and the El Paso County Office of Emergency Management.
Although concern remained high over potential storms, heat stress was also a concern for public health officials working the event.
University Police Chief Cliff Walsh expressed his appreciation to the National Weather Service staff. "I want to emphasize how glad I am that you're here," he said. "After seeing you in action, and knowing how weather can impact an event like this, you can be sure we'll be requesting you many times in the future."
Fortunately, thunderstorms did not make a repeat appearance at the boxing event on Saturday night.