Strong thunderstorms with heavy lightning Saturday evening forced the evacuation of thousands of people attending the Washington Town and Country Fair. 

No injuries or serious damage was reported. 

The storm, which lasted several hours, hit just as REO Speedwagon was taking the main stage to perform to a large crowd.

The Fair Board Issued the Following Press Release 3:00 am Sunday:

On the evening of Saturday, August 4, 2012 the Washington Town & Country Fair was hit with a severe thunderstorm.  The Fair Board along with the Washington Police Department and Washington Fire Department executed an evacuation plan to get fairgoers safely off the grounds prior to the height of the storm.  Those that were not able to leave the premises were directed and housed in a safe shelter until the storm passed.  Only one minor injury reported which occurred at the beginning of the storm.  At this time we are assessing the damage on the fairgrounds and will address the media at 8:00 a.m. in the Concert Stage conference room on the fairgrounds on Sunday, August 5, 2012.  The Concert Stage conference room is located on the West side of the fairgrounds on Veterans Drive.  Security will be at the secured gate on Veterans Drive to allow media in beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Check back for more details later and see the Wednesday Missourian for full coverage.