Today I Learned Not to Hide Under an Overpass During a Tornado
It's a running joke around the Tri-State that if you don't like the weather, just wait a day because it will likely be something completely different the next. One thing we all know is that we are susceptible to our fair share of severe weather, including tornadoes, especially this time of year. For most of my life I've always believed that if I were driving down a highway when I tornado touched down, I was to seek shelter under the nearest overpass. However, it turns out that is that last place I, or you, should be.
Now I don't know where I heard this idea, but somewhere along the line I did and it made sense. If you're home during a tornado, you try to get to the lowest point in your house, ideally a basement. On the road, underpasses are cut out of the ground, plus there's a place to tuck yourself under the road, so the tornado will just pass right over top of you, right? Well, maybe, but according to a recent tweet from the National Weather Service, it's actually a dangerous place to seek shelter.
So where can you go if you're driving when a tornado hits? It depends on how much time you have and where you are. According to the tornado safety tips section of the National Weather Service website, your best bet is to drive to the nearest shelter (a house, business, etc.). Of course your likelihood of finding one of those is better if your in a town or city, but if you're out in the middle of nowhere like the highway or an interstate where the next exit may be miles away, the NWS suggests you "either get down in your car and cover your head, or abandon your car and seek shelter in a low lying area such as a ditch or ravine."
Stay safe out there!
[Source: National Weather Service on Twitter]