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Severe Weather Safety

Recent weather patterns across America — like Tornadoes — are getting attention from Safety Officials. They say these instances of severe weather lead to people who fail to notice the warnings calling 911. Here’s hat local experts are emphasizing to keep you safe.

Our region has seen a mild start to the spring toward Summer. Now Experts say things are starting to kick up. Meteorologist Cait Westerholm saying: “Especially the pattern that we’re in this week, it’s very hot and very humid. The higher the humidity, the higher the temperature, the more likely storms are to develop into the early afternoon.”

Cambria County E.M.A. Director, Art Martynuska says this type of weather is leading to more in 9-1-1 calls. He also says there doesn’t have to be a tornado for winds to turn dangerous. Martynuska adding: “We have seen some tornadoes touch down in the area in the past. We see a lot of straight line winds where trees are sheared, roofs are taken off. Lightning strikes are not that common but they do happen, but we see more wind and flooding than anything.”

Emergency and Weather Specialists encourage people to not drive through flooded areas, as these frequently result in dire consequences. Westerholm saying: “Obviously that could lead to injury, drowning, the loss of your car, or the loss of your life.” Ron Shawley, a Freelance Storm Chaser saying: “I’ve seen people with big trucks, oh I can get through, and they’ll start cruising along, and right in they go.” Martynuska adding: “Don’t try your luck, you know. Oh, I can drive through that water. Don’t do that.”

Even though lightning striking people is rare, it becomes more likely in certain scenarios. Meteorologists say to get inside a building, a car, or a low point, if options are limited. Shawley adding: “Usually lightning will follow the least path of resistance. Being in my vehicle, it acts as a cage.”

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