Severe weather awareness week focused on flood and tornado safety

2 years 8 months 1 week ago Monday, March 14 2016 Mar 14, 2016 Monday, March 14, 2016 4:19:00 AM CDT March 14, 2016 in Top Stories
By: Nick Yahl, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - As the weather gets warmer the threat of severe weather becomes a harsher reality. 

In 2015, 27 people died in flood related incidents, which is more than the previous eight years combined. Twenty-three of those deaths came from people driving during flash flooding. 

KOMU 8 Meteorologist Tori Stepanek said even a couple of inches of water is enough to put you in danger. 

"Never drive over a flooded roadway. It's really deceiving because it really only takes a couple of inches of water to move an entire vehicle,"Stepanek said. 

Many of the flooding deaths came from the severe weather in December. 

"The severe weather we had in late December was a painful reminder of just how dangerous flooding and severe storms can be at any time of the year," Gov. Jay Nixon said. "I urge all Missourians to plan for severe weather and understand the threat posed by driving in areas experiencing flash flooding," Nixon said. 

Nixon announced plans to complete 10 projects around Missouri to install tornado safe rooms and additional tornado sirens. 

Severe Weather Awareness Week kicked off Monday with emergency preparedness day. The National Weather Service urges people to make sure they have a plan for what to do during severe weather. 

"If you have a basement great. If you're going to be outside, making sure you have a shelter nearby, especially if you're going to be at an outdoor sporting event. Then if you live in a mobile home or mobile home park that you have a plan and know of a shelter and how long it will take you to get there," Stepanek said. 

A state-wide drill is set to take place at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, where everyone is urged to practice their severe weather plan. 

For more information on severe weather awareness visit the storm aware website

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