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Lightning delays Missoula graduation

Big Sky Graduation Lightning
Big Sky Gradutaion
Big Sky Graduation
Posted at 10:49 AM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 13:09:03-04

MISSOULA  — A morning thunderstorm forced some Missoula high school seniors to wait, although briefly, to finish up their school careers.

Big Sky High School seniors, their families and friends were just gathering this morning when a thunderstorm began moving out of Idaho.

At first it appeared the storm cell would miss Missoula altogether.

But just minutes before commencement was to start, Missoula County Public School Superintendent Rob Watson came on the public address system, advising people to get off the field and stands at Washington Grizzly Stadium and seek shelter.

A lightning strike had been reported within a mile of the stadium, so as a precaution, graduates were kept indoors and the audience was directed to either seek cover out of the open, or kept out of the stadium altogether.

There were only a few drops of rain as the storm grazed the valley to the north. The delay lasted less than half-an-hour and the ceremony started late, a seemingly-ironic culmination to an already tumultuous year for the Class of '21.