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Tens of thousands expected in Centralia for Luke Bryan concert

Audrain County deputies plan security, traffic

CENTRALIA, Mo. - Audrain County deputies are expecting more than 20,000 people to head to Stowers Farm in Centralia for the Luke Bryan Farm Tour on Saturday.

This is the second year the concert will be at the farm. According to the department, deputies and Highway Patrol troopers will be performing traffic safety and direction for entrances and exits, as well as patrolling the grounds, neighboring private properties and roadways.

"There should be somewhere around 60 sheriff's deputies out on the ground and within less than a mile of the concert venue," said Sheriff Matt Oller.

The number of law enforcement officers in the area has been beefed up since last year. Audrain has called in assistance from Monroe and Montgomery County sheriff's departments.

Keeping traffic flow safe and fluid is one major goal this weekend. Oller said they've revamped the entrances to the concert venue with new pipes and extra gravel.

"The reason traffic was so bad was because we had four entrances into the parking area and an hour into parking cars, three of those entrances were disabled because they hadn't been constructed properly," said Oller.

The deadly shooting in Las Vegas is very much on the minds of law enforcement this weekend, so they have reassessed some of their plans for security.

"What those changes are I'm really hesitant to say because if somebody that intends harm is listening I certainly don't want to give away our defense," said Oller. "It's impossible for me to say with 100 percent accuracy that positively, absolutely nothing bad is going to happen, however we've done our best to plan ahead."

Cell service at last year's concert was practically nonexistent so this year they have set up a temporary cell phone tower. The Department of Public Safety is also providing extra equipment like radios because last year Oller said law enforcement had radio communication issues.

Oller said that last year no serious crimes were reported and there were only two arrests. 

"Pretty remarkable for that size crowd," said Oller.

 

Oller said he is asking drivers to travel safely and respectfully along Missouri and Audrain County roadways.

"Folks that aren't familiar with the area should know there are some 90 degree curves that are going to be on their way," he said. "There's going to be low visibility intersections."


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