Typhoon Could Delay Umbrella Openings

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The threat of a typhoon in Japan might delay the planned opening of Christo's giant "Umbrellas" in both Japan and the United States.

"We've notified our workers that there might be a delay," said Thomas Golden, director of the project in the United States, on Sunday.

The final decision on whether to delay the scheduled opening--whether by hours or days--will be made by Christo, who was in Japan overseeing final preparations there.

Augie Huber, general contractor of the project, said that rain in itself probably would not be a problem. "If the typhoon winds do not move into the area, there is a real chance we could still open on Tuesday," said Huber from project headquarters in the Tejon Pass.

The schedule calls for the 1,340 blue umbrellas in Ibaraki Prefecture, about 75 miles north of Tokyo, to start opening at dawn Tuesday, Japan time. The 1,760 yellow umbrellas in the Tejon Pass, about 60 miles north of Los Angeles, are also scheduled to open at dawn on Tuesday. Because of the time difference, the openings will occur 16 hours apart.

The weather in the Tejon Pass posed no threat Sunday--skies were only partly cloudy--but Christo will open his umbrellas only if the weather is right in both spots.

Typhoon Orchid was about 800 miles south of Japan on Sunday, according to WeatherData, which provides weather information to The Times.

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