Tropical Storm Lee delays Brimfield antiques show, floods parking

More than 20 antiques shows held this week in Brimfield, Mass., have been beset by torrential downpours from Tropical Storm Lee.

Correspondents at the field say overnight rains left the field for the massive May’s Antiques Market soft and too muddy for dealers to set up. At least 6 to 9 inches of rain soaked the field just a few hours before dealers were ready to fill the field with antiques and collectibles. For the first time in recent memory, show organizers decided against opening the show this morning. Instead the show will open to dealers at 6:30 a.m. Friday, with shoppers allowed to enter starting at 9 a.m.

Across the street, the equally large J & J Promotions Show will open tomorrow at 8 a.m. This is a tough scenario for dealer and shoppers alike. With two massive shows opening on the same morning, shoppers will be forced to choose which field to shop first.

There is so much standing water at the show and in fields used as parking lots that promoters are urging shoppers to park this weekend at church lots in the village. Lots farther away, situated next to the Dealer’s Choice Antiques Shows, are dry and open to parking. Water problems in fields located in the middle of the event are not expected to improve by the weekend.

Dealers at the New England Motel & Antiques Show woke up this morning to standing water and damaged merchandise. Some booths packed with antiques are stranded and surrounded by as much as 12 inches of water.

Hertans Antiques Show opened on time Wednesday but by early Thursday afternoon dealers and shoppers were dealing with water 4 to 6 inches deep in the center of the market.

A number of the smaller shows are dealing with muddy walkways and small ponds where dealers usually park.

Tropical Storm Lee is the second weather-related blow to hit the market this year. In June, tornado-force winds killed four people in the region and ripped a path near the show. This week the wet weather followed by Hurricane Irene and its remnants have saturated
the soil across the Northeast, leaving water no place to go, according to the Associated Press. The National Weather Service predicted 4 to 10 inches of rain across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast through Friday.

Are you at Brimfield? How are you coping?