Severe weather expected in Shelby County area

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 7, 2006


UPDATE (5:00 p.m.):

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for Shelby and surrounding counties until 8 p.m. tonight.

The National Weather Service is forecasting scattered thunderstorms in the Shelby County area starting around 3 p.m. today. Sever thunderstorms, bringing high winds, lightning and the chance of hail, will pass through the county beginning at 6 p.m.

Please check the Shelby County Reporter’s website for regular updates throughout the day.

Shelby County School officials announced this morning that all schools would close at 1 p.m. today in preparation for the likelihood of severe weather.

All athletic events and after school activities have also been cancelled and will be rescheduled.

Briarwood Christian School released its students early today. BCS kindergarten students were released at 11:45 a.m.; Grades 1-2 at 12:15 p.m.; Grades 3-6 at 12:45 p.m.; Junior High at noon and high school at 11:30 a.m.

Kingwood Christian School, Cornerstone Christian School, Shelby Academy and Coosa Valley Academy closed at 1 p.m. today.


Tornado watch: A tornado watch is normally issued for a large area covering a whole state or a large part of several states. The watch is intended to give you time to prepare and time to review safety rules. The sky may be blue, but weather changes could be just over the horizon. Begin preparing when you hear the watch.

A tornado warning is broadcast when a developing tornado has been detected by radar or a tornado has been reported. A tornado warning is usually issued for one or two counties at a time.

Take cover: A basement below ground level or at least the lowest floor of a building offers the greatest safety. Put as many walls between yourself and the outside as possible.

Avoid windows at all cost. Homes or small buildings: go to the Basement or to a small interior room such as a closet or bathroom or an interior hall on the lowest level. If available, get under something sturdy like a heavy table. Protect yourself from flying debris with pillows, heavy coats, blankets, or quilts. Use bicycle or motorcycle helmets.

Schools, nursing homes, hospitals, factories, and shopping centers: go to a pre-designated shelter area. Basements are the best, but interior hallways on the lowest floor usually offer protection. Close all doors to the hallway for greater protection.

Mobile homes or vehicles: leave them and go to a strong building. If there is no shelter nearby, get into the nearest ditch or depression and lie flat with your hands shielding your head. Stay away from windows. Don’t bother opening or closing them. It won’t protect the structure anyway. You’ll waste time and put yourself and possibly others at greater risk. Use those valuable seconds to find a place of safety. Stay away from doors, windows, and outside walls.

Tips courtesy of the National Weather Servic