Severe Weather Awareness Week: Tornadoes

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 6:44 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 18, 2021 at 7:04 PM EDT
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(WHSV) - Tornadoes are not as common here as many other places but they do happen. So how can you better prepare if you’re ever in the path?

Tornadoes are one of the deadliest and destructive elements in severe weather. When a tornado warning is issued, it is advised that you take cover in the lowest level of a building and to stay away from windows.

But how will you know how close you are to danger? Geography is key.

Linda Melton now lives in Shenandoah County but several years ago, she witnessed the beginning stages of what would become a highly destructive tornado. This happened near Dale City, a suburb of Washington DC where Melton was living. The storm had already dropped an EF-1 tornado in Shenandoah County.

“We didn’t have the actual images of where it was located but I had pulled out a map and I found the one place they said Canova and then of course they said Dale City but we were on the outside edge of Dale City and so we are like oh no, draw a line, it’s coming right through here,” said Melton.

She was correct. The tornado had not formed yet but clouds were beginning to rotate. That tornado would become the devastating La Plata, Maryland tornado in 2002.

“My advice to anybody is to at least have a map or a weather app or something to show where you are relative to the storm and where that storm is going,” Melton also said.

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