U.S. Capitol Lawn Evacuated by Police Due to Downpours, Lightning Strikes Ahead of Trump's 'Salute to America' Speech

Police reportedly evacuated the West Front of the U.S. Capitol due to severe downpour and lightning strikes on the Fourth of July, just more than an hour before President Donald Trump gave his "Salute to America" speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

Multiple news outlets reported that the evacuations were executed earlier Thursday for severe weather conditions. According to The Hill, U.S. Capitol Police evacuated the area after lightning struck "near the National Mall" ahead of Trump's planned Independence Day event.

At around 4:30 p.m. the band left the stage at Lincoln Memorial after an announcement was made delaying the "Salute to America" program due to severe storms moving through the region. "Today's event has been delayed. Please standby," organizers of the event said

Trump tweeted prior to his scheduled speech that the event will go ahead. "Weather looking food, clearing rapidly and temperatures going down fast, See you in 45 minutes, 6:30 to 7:00 P.M. at Lincoln Memorial," the president tweeted.

During his speech, Trump praised Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Border Patrol, law enforcement and the armed services. "Our nation has always honored the heroes who serve our communities, first responders, police, sheriffs, ICE, Border Patrol and all of the brave men and women of law enforcement," the president said. "On this July Fourth, we pay special tribute to the military service members who laid down their lives for our nation."

Poor weather conditions and thunderstorm warnings plagued the lead up to Trump's Fourth of July festivities on the National Mall in Washington D.C., with storms resulting in heavy downpours and lightening throughout the day.

The National Park Service warned that heavy downpours, strong winds and thunder could postpone or cancel the fireworks display that is scheduled to take place after 9 p.m., reported NBC Washington.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Donald Trump July 4th
U.S. President Donald Trump walks off Marine One at the White House after spending the weekend at the G20 Summit and meeting Kim Jong Un, in the DMZ on June 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. Police evaculated people from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol due to severe weather and reported lightening strikes ahead of Trump's "Salute to America" speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Tasos Katopodis/Getty
U.S. Capitol Lawn Evacuated by Police Due to Downpours, Lightning Strikes Ahead of Trump's 'Salute to America' Speech | Politics
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