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Severe Weather Awareness Week events set for April 4-8

Emergency Management agencies across the state will be promoting severe weather safety throughout the week and participating in two tornado drills on April 7.

Beltrami County Emergency Management.jpg

BEMIDJI — The week of April 4-8 is designated as Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Emergency Management agencies across the state will be promoting severe weather safety throughout the week and participating in two tornado drills on April 7.

Beltrami County has experienced several severe weather events in the last decade including a destructive wind storm in 2012, the city of Bemidji being hit by a tornado on July 4, 2018, and hail larger than three inches in diameter accompanied by three tornadoes last summer from Red Lake to Pennington, a release
said.

Beltrami County Emergency Management has outlined the hazard topic for each day of the week.

Monday – Alerts and Warnings

There are numerous ways to receive alerts and warnings ranging from phone apps, broadcast media and NOAA Weather Radios.

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NOAA Weather Radios are inexpensive and are programmable to your location. It is important to know your location when alerts are issued. Severe weather watches indicate that severe weather is possible and warnings mean it is happening or is likely to happen.

Tuesday – Storms, Hail and Lightning

Storms can produce several impactful weather hazards including lightning, hail, wind and tornadoes. Hail can be damaging to roofs, vehicles and crops, resulting in approximately a billion dollars in damage annually.

Tornadoes can cause significant concentrated damage, but straight-line winds can cause widespread damage and can produce winds in excess of 125 mph.

Lightning kills an average of 43 Americans annually in injuries many more. Remember: “When thunder roars, go indoors,” and for our neighbors who are deaf and hard of hearing, “See a flash, dash inside.”

Wednesday – Flooding and Flash Floods

Convective summer storms can produce very heavy rainfall resulting in flooding. The most dangerous flooding is flash flooding.

Torrential rainfall can rapidly runoff, washing out roadways, floating vehicles and inundating dwellings. If you encounter a flooded roadway: “Turn around, don’t drown.” Most flood-related deaths occur in vehicles.

Thursday – Tornado Drill Day

Beltrami County will be participating in two tornado drills on Thursday, April 7, with one at 1:45 p.m. and one at 6:45 p.m. Beltrami County’s CodeRED Notification System will not be activated for the drills but outdoor warning sirens will be sounded.

Schools, businesses and families are encouraged to review severe weather plans and know where they will shelter in the event of severe weather.

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Beltrami County activates outdoor warning sirens for tornadoes and destructive storms producing winds in excess of 70 mph.

Friday – Extreme Heat

Minnesotans are well adapted to dealing with the cold, but extreme heat events are possible in the summer months.

Heat ailments can be dangerous when the body loses the ability to cool itself. During extreme heat, avoid rigorous activity and find cool areas.

Never leave children or pets in a vehicle. Cars act like greenhouses and even on a warm day, the sun can warm vehicles to lethal temperatures very rapidly.

Additional information will be posted throughout the week on the Beltrami County Emergency Management Facebook page.

Related Topics: BELTRAMI COUNTY
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