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Learn to spot severe weather clues
March 13, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

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Courtesy Photo A tornado did extensive damage to the City of Minatare on June 9, 1991. Spring and summer are prime months for severe weather, and state agencies schedule a number of events to educate the public about the dangers of sever weather.

“Hope for the best and prepare for the worst” is a good policy when Nebraska’s unpredictable weather rolls across the area. Whether it’s high winds, hail, thunderstorms or even tornadoes, people need to be ready.

In conjunction with Severe Weather Week, March 21 – 25, Region 22 Emergency Management and the National Weather Service office in Cheyenne are hosting a Severe Weather Spotter Training class.
It’s scheduled for Tuesday, March 22 from 6 – 8 p.m. in the Harms Center at Western Nebraska Community College, 2620 College Park in Scottsbluff.

The class is designed to educate participants about severe weather “clues” and what to do when it strikes. Plus, the class provides timely information for weather spotters and other emergency responders that provide the ground level sightings no weather monitoring equipment can duplicate.

The class is free and open to the public, and you don’t have to be weather spotter to attend. The information can be a literal life saver for people faced with severe weather. Those attending will receive a certificate of completion.

Also in conjunction with Severe Weather Week, a statewide tornado drill will be conducted on Wednesday, March 23 between 9 –10 a.m. local time. Local emergency responders use the drill to test their tornado sirens. During the drill, the public is encouraged to review their emergency plan for how they will respond if severe weather strikes.

For more information, call Region 22 Emergency Management Director Tim Newman at 308-436-6689.

Residents are also reminded to be aware that spring flooding is possible. The risk of river flooding in Nebraska this spring is higher than normal, due to saturated soil conditions and above average river flows. The saturated soil conditions developed in 2015 and carried over into the winter months of 2016. In addition, projected above-normal river levels on Nebraska’s rivers will contribute to the expected flood risk increase.
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