The Times West Virginian

Opinion

July 10, 2014

We must take all weather emergency alerts seriously

In a weather emergency, every second counts.

Think back to the derecho that devastated the state just two years ago. The powerful wind storm caused nearly 700,000 people in West Virginia to lose electricity, some who didn’t have power restored for weeks. A state of emergency was declared, and all but two of the state’s 55 counties sustained some damage or loss of power.

There are plenty of other types of severe storms that can happen in this area. Think of the last big snowstorm to dump several inches of snow on the region. Or the last time significant rain caused flooding.

Severe weather can happen quickly. And that makes weather alerts so much more important.

A storm earlier this week is a perfect example.

On Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for parts of North Central West Virginia. At first glance, it might have been easy to shrug off the warning. After all, this is West Virginia. Tornadoes are rare in this area.

But on Wednesday, the National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-1 tornado had in fact touched down in Smithtown, located in southern Monongalia County, on Tuesday.

That makes knowing the difference between watches and warnings even more important.

When it comes to tornadoes, for example, a warning is issued to warn that severe thunderstorms with tornadoes may be imminent. It can be issued after a tornado or funnel cloud has been spotted by the public, storm chasers, emergency management or law enforcement, or more commonly if there are radar indications of tornado formation. When this happens, the tornado sirens may sound in that area if any sirens are present, informing people that a tornado has been sighted or is forming nearby.

The issuance of a tornado warning indicates that residents should take immediate safety precautions. It is a higher level of alert than a tornado watch, but it can be surpassed by an even higher alert known as a tornado emergency.

Whether they’re watches, warnings or news of actual emergencies, those alerts must be taken seriously. Know the suggested safety procedures that should be followed when each type of alert is issued. Have a plan in place for your family.

In a weather emergency, every second counts.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Prevention must remain focus when dealing with cruel black lung disease

    “Preventable, but not curable.”
    That’s how Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for Mine Safety and Health, describes black lung disease.
    He could also use the word “deadly.”
    According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, black lung has killed more than 76,000 miners since 1968.

    August 1, 2014

  • If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is

    Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
    This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads