TULSA, Okla. — Weather was on everyone’s mind as the 35th annual Shell SuperRigs truck beauty contest kicked off at the Exchange Center at Expo Square in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Thursday.
Eyes on the sky, competitors put the finishing touches on their entries while considering the best time to take their truck through the judging line.
Too soon, and the truck may not be fully prepared. Too late, and the predicted severe weather would arrive with predicted rain, hail, high winds and possible twisters.
A total of 38 entries were judged on day one, the last few finishing up as darkening skies caused the parking lamps to come on.
The scheduled lights competition was cancelled and the authorities at Expo Square responded to the storm threat by making an adjacent building available for sheltered parking.
Shell personnel directed traffic as competitors cleared out of the exposed parking area to safe, indoor parking.
By the time equipment was secured and event materials safely stowed, the storm had descended upon Tulsa.
The Shell crew then turned to directing the remaining contestants and their family members to the available storm shelters.
Funnel cloud sightings were reported on local news, but Tulsa escaped most of the damage with torrential rains overwhelming storm sewers in some areas. Finally, the storm relented enough to allow everyone to return to hotels for a hard-earned rest.