Scout Days at Speedway drenched by overnight downpours

By Saul Saenz, Reporter
Last Updated: Sunday, January 08, 2017, 6:51 AM EST

Strong downpours put thousands of Boy Scouts to the test at this year’s Scout Days at the Daytona International Speedway.

  • Almost 2,300 scouts, parents camped out in the infield
  • Heavy rains, winds damaged tents
  • Event part of lead-up to Rolex 24 on January 28

Almost 2,300 scouts and parents camped out in the infield while drivers tested their cars for the upcoming Rolex 24.

Jacksonville homeowner Derek Goff, there with his two Boy Scout sons, said the nasty weather moved in fast during the overnight hours.

"The heavens opened up and it was a lot of rain in a short period of time," said Goff.

The downpours flooded dozens of tents, drenching clothes that scouts and parents had brought for the two-night camp out.

When morning came, Goff's mini vac came out with it.

"It was like walking in a waterbed, walking in the tent," said Goff while he vacuumed up water from the campsite. "There was so much water on the ground."

Goff told us he’d been vacuuming since almost 3 a.m. when part of the tent started to collapse on them.

Conditions did not improve as the day passed. Rain continued to fall and winds picked up, causing several tent covers at the campsite to flap alongside Boy Scout troop flags.

The winds and rain were so destructive, in fact, that Goff had to throw away two pop-up tents. The losses left him wondering if he was as prepared as the Boy Scout motto said scouts should be.

"We did know that it was going to rain, but I don't think we were expecting it  to rain this hard.” said Caleb Goff, Derek Goff’s eleven-year-old son.

"Do the best you can and be prepared," said Goff. "Sometimes you're not prepared for everything."

Because most of the boys' clothes were drenched, Goff told us he'll go back home to Jacksonville before temperatures drop into the 30s overnight tonight.  He did add, however, that he and his boys would try to camp out there again next year.

The Goffs did, at least, get to enjoy a full day of Rolex 24 practice. The annual 24-hour race is scheduled for January 28.