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July 8, 2014

Tornado warning canceled; severe thunderstorm warning issued

FAIRMONT — The National Weather Service has cancelled a tornado warning for Marion County and issued a severe thunderstorm warning until 4:15 p.m., with thunderstorms, strong wind, large hail and lightning throughout the evening.

Radar has indicated wind gusts up to 60 mph and ping pong-sized hail.

The NWS advises that when thunderstorms are likely, postpone outdoor activities and avoid going outdoors if at all possible. If you are caught outdoors in a thunderstorm, follow these tips to stay safe until the storm passes:

If you are in an open area, find a low place such as a ravine or valley. Be alert for flash floods.

If you are in a forested area, find shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees, if possible.

If you are on open water, get to land immediately and seek shelter.

If you are in a car, keep the windows closed.

If you are outdoors and feel your hair stand on end (an indication that lightning is about to strike), do not lie flat on the ground, as your fully-extended body will provide a larger surface to conduct electricity. Instead, squat low to the ground and place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees. The goal is to make you the smallest target possible and minimize contact with the ground.

Stay away from anything made of metal: bicycles, golf clubs, golf carts, motorcycles, tractors and farm equipment.

Stay away from natural lightning rods, such as a tall tree in an open field, and avoid hilltops, the beach or boats on open water.

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