Last week I mentioned that seeking shelter under an overpass is dangerous and is no place to seek shelter. So what should you do if you're about to be struck by a tornado and you're out in the open or you're in a car with no suitable shelter nearby? Last year the American Red Cross and the National Weather Service issued a joint statement after a year of "evidence-based research" that they have revised their recommendation in this case. If you cannot quickly walk to seek shelter in a basement or sturdy building, they now recommend that you:
Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to closest sturdy shelter.
If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park. Now you have the following options as a last resort:
Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible.
If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
Your choice should be driven by your specific circumstances.
The Grinnell storm I chased yesterday apparently hailed on four runners who were caught outside. Ouch. Now imagine how things would go if it was hailing baseballs and you were "seeking shelter" in a ditch from a tornado. Yikes. The Grinnell storm also caused quite a swath of wind damage as it passed through. Here's the preliminary report from the NWS about the event. Peaks winds of 95-105mph caused the walls to blow out of a couple of garages and blew the vehicles off of I-80. Interesting start to the season but the tornado count so far this year is hovering around the 50-year minimum.
Eight tornadoes were reported Sunday in North Carolina causing significant damage and injuries in some areas. This video shows a tornado tearing through High Point, NC where it damaged dozens of homes and businesses. Cars had stopped on the interstate under an overpass to avoid hail and/or the tornado and were blocking traffic leaving the cars behind them in the path of the tornado. This illustrates exactly why stopping under an overpass is a terrible idea.
We're going to be competing in the Cornball Run TOMORROW (Saturday). The first rally team to all 10 checkpoints and back wins the cash. The rules meeting begins at 10:30am and the race begins afterward. We'll be streaming on our Live page when the race begins! You don't want to miss this!