WASHINGTON — U.S. Park Police are urging visitors on the National Mall to seek shelter in museums and federal buildings as a thunderstorm moves through the area.

Thousands have gathered in Washington for the annual Fourth of July festivities. The National Park Service activated its “safe haven” protocol which means museums and federal buildings along the National Mall will be opened for people to take shelter.

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival closed due to the weather conditions late Saturday afternoon. Police also directed visitors on the Washington Monument grounds to seek shelter.

The storms are expected to bring heavy rain and some lightening. Forecasters say the rain should stop after about 6 p.m.

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