Fact or Fiction: Severe weather edition

Fact or Fiction: Severe weather edition

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - With severe weather potential in the Chattahoochee Valley tonight, it’s important to know what safety tips to follow. Some myths have floated around regarding what to do before a storm.

News Leader 9′s Samantha Serbin talked to Storm Team 9′s meteorologist, Lauren Linahan, to find out if these myths are fact or fiction.

SS: We have nine statements about tornadoes and we want you to help us find out if they’re fact or fiction. Starting with number one, a tornado can’t cross a lake, river or mountain.

LL: Fiction. Go back to the Lee County tornado, the one that hit on March 3 that went from Lee County across the Chattahoochee into Talbot County.

SS: How about a highway underpass being the safest place to seek shelter?

LL: No, that is fiction. You can have lofted debris from a tornado hit you under that underpass.

SS: How about tornadoes not striking big cities, is that true or false?

LL: Fiction, for sure. There was a tornado that came through Metro Atlanta in 2008 and caused a lot of damage.

SS: Will you always be able to see a tornado coming before it hits?

LL: Absolutely not that is fiction, especially in the area we live in, in the Southeast, those tornadoes can be rain-wrapped and hard to see.

SS: And where’s the safest place to be during a tornado, is it in your bathroom and bathtub?

LL: Bathroom and bathtub not a bad place to be, but you always want to be on the lowest level interior room away from windows.

SS: And what’s the most common way for people to get hurt, is it actually from head injuries?

LL: That is a fact, you always want to make sure you protect. Always good idea for the kids to wear a helmet too.

SS: And I know we’ve talked about safe places, what about for mobile homes? Is it true that there’s no safe place there?

LL: That is correct, that is a fact. You do not want to be in a mobile home when there is a tornado watch in your area, make sure you have a back up safe shelter.

SS: We’ve heard that it’s cool to open all windows before a tornado hits to help equalize the air pressure in your house. What about that?

LL: Nope that is fiction. That is not going to do anything to help you and that is not safe. You want to stay away from windows.

SS: And the last statement we have, number nine, is that proper construction practices can greatly increase the chance of a home surviving a direct hit from a tornado.

LL: Oh yeah, that is absolutely a fact. The better constructed your house is, the better for you during a tornado.

With this severe weather coming through overnight, News Leader 9′s weather team has warned people to keep a pair of closed toed shoes near their bed and turn notification sounds on the WTVM Weather App up while sleeping. Also make sure to secure any outdoor furniture so it doesn’t become a projectile.

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