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Severe Weather Awareness Week recognized

Posted: February 3, 2013 - 12:01am
Storms that moved through the area Wednesday blew down the recently installed sign in front of Chain Reaction Bicycles on Evans-to-Locks Road in Martinez, along with trees across Columbia County.  Photo by Barry Paschal
Photo by Barry Paschal
Storms that moved through the area Wednesday blew down the recently installed sign in front of Chain Reaction Bicycles on Evans-to-Locks Road in Martinez, along with trees across Columbia County.

Thunderstorms, high winds and tornadoes threatened Columbia County Wednesday.

Severe weather in late January surprised County Emergency and Operations Division Director Pam Tucker, who said the risk usually isn’t strong for another month or two.

“March, April and May are considered the months that we have the greatest risk for severe weather in our area,” Tucker said. “This is proof that these storms can happen any time.”

Citizens can learn about severe weather and how to best prepare for natural disasters as Georgia recognizes Severe Weather Awareness Week Monday through Saturday.

Tucker said the severe weather events most likely to occur in our area are thunderstorms, lightning, flooding and tornadoes.

Severe Weather Aware-ness Week begins with family preparedness on Monday, followed by thunderstorm safety on Tuesday, tornado safety with a statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, lightning safety on Thursday and flooding safety on Friday.

If bad weather occurs Wednesday, the tornado drill will be moved to Friday. The drill is conducted by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service. All government offices, schools, day care centers, businesses, industries, medical facilities and citizens are encouraged to participate.

“The key to preventing injury and death is education,” Tucker said. “We do that year around.”

Tucker said she’s impressed with the county residents’ level of education and awareness about severe weather.

Since 1875, there have been eight tornadoes reported in the county. Of those storms, four were recorded in the past decade.

More information about natural disasters and weather-related events is available by visiting www.columbiacountyga.gov and following the links to the Emergency and Operations Division, or by calling (706) 868-3303.

In conjunction with WRDW-TV News 12, Tucker’s department is holding Weatherfest 2013 with speakers and weather-related activities from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Columbia County Government Center auditorium.

Registration for the event is full, but Tucker’s office is maintaining a stand-by list. Anyone interested should call her office at (706) 868-3303.

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