SLIDESHOW: Hundreds prepare behind the scenes for Thunder - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SLIDESHOW: Hundreds prepare behind the scenes for Thunder

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- From the command center to the Waterfront and even the Chow Wagon, hundreds of hands are feverishly working to prepare for Thunder Over Louisville.

From the 24th floor of the Galt House Wayne Hettinger runs the Thunder Command Center with a birds-eye view.  The Thundernator, Metal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer, will turn the key and launch the fireworks from there.

The director runs the air show to his right with an audio engineer at his side.  About a dozen people will work from there, with more across the hall.  Hettinger says, "When this room gets sets up, it's air traffic control, it's Standiford Field come Saturday...there's a lot going on and everybody does their part."

The Belvedere will be the hub for WDRB's television broadcast, and it offers a perfect look out at the Second Street Bridge.  That bridge is about to close so crews can place fireworks.  It will close from Thursday at 9:30 in the morning to Sunday at 2:00 in the afternoon.

Ground crew setup is also in full swing.  Vendors are moving in for the Chow Wagon.  Vendor Tim Fliger explains, "We unload and get things cleaned up, get frame of tent out and put the top up so everything pops together."

Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard is getting prepared too, warning boaters that the area from the Big Four Bridge to McAlpine Lock and Dam is a no-boating Zone on Saturday.  The Coast Guard reminds people to check their boats before they head out on the river, and make sure they have their safety gear, wear a life jacket, and don't drink.

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