Fourth of July crowds have been evacuated from the National Mall until severe storms pass through the area, according to Rob Lachance, of the U.S. Park Police.

The West Front of the U.S. Capitol also was evacuated due to inclement weather. . . .

Crowds were moved to nearby museums, which will provide shelter. Smithsonian buildings and the Commerce Department are opening up for people to use as shelter.

Reader Scott Barber sends a firsthand report and this photo:

This picture shows the crowd in DC waiting for the Patriotic 4th concert in DC in the parking garage of the Rayburn Building.

I and my family had been waiting next to the security entrance for the West Lawn since about 1 pm. At about 5, when we were supposed to be able to enter, the police made us move away from the entrance because of the inclement weather. They eventually hearded most of us to the parking garage of the Rayburn building, where the picture was taken.

The Capital Police have done a great job moving the crowd and in keeping us informed – very friendly and professional. The crowd is in a good mood – applauding the latest announcement from the police about the weather moving through quickly.

Now, some might think waiting for several hours and then for another hour or so in the garage of an office building for a Tony Danza payoff might be a little much – but my fellow Americans seemed to be determined to stick it out in surprisingly good spirits. That strikes me as being pretty neat.