Harvest Moon drive-in battles storm aftermath to continue weekend shows

It was a storm like we’ve never experienced before, said Harroun.

Thursday night central Illinois saw a tornado, heavy winds, severe thunderstorms, and hail, leaving many across the area cleaning up the debris.

The National Weather Service (NWS) released a statement Friday evening sharing, that they believe an EF one Tornado came through Ford County, just west of Gibson City.

The biggest concern for some locals Friday morning was waking up to trees and powerlines down as well as checking in on their crops in the field.

At Harvest Moon drive-in in Gibson City, a trailer had actually flipped over due to the intense winds the city saw overnight, but even with that damage, it was the drive-in’s goal to make sure they were ready to put on this weekend’s shows for the community.

General manager and co-owner, Ben Harroun, shared that in his 35 years of working there, he has never seen a storm that intense, enough to have to stop the movies and take shelter.

As soon as we knew we were definitely going to get hit, we paused the movie, told everyone if you want to shelter inside the building you can, get in your cars, do not stay outside. and within ten minutes of doing that, we had absolutely insane weather, said Harroun.

According the staff at Harvest Moon, strong winds were ripping off tree branches, the main building was shaking, a fence flew down and a storage trailer had flipped over.

Tiffany Leisure, a Harvest Moon employee, shared that even with the damage, the team knew they could pull it together for the big box office weekend.

It was a lot last night when I saw the damage, but I knew we were going to pull together to open, said Leisure.

The owner and employees are very thankful the drive-in is up and running for the weekend. The drive-in will be showing shows all weekend including Inside Out Two and Bad Boys Ride or Die.


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