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Missouri, Ripley

Public Information Statement

Statement as of 9:46 PM CDT on September 26, 2016


... Nighttime tornadoes pose a major threat to our region...

Over the last 20 years, tornadoes have killed 55 people in our
region. The two main determining factors in those 55 deaths have
been the time of day and the location of the victims. Nighttime
tornadoes have accounted for 43 of the 55 fatalities in our region.
Thirty-six of these fatalities occurred between midnight and
sunrise. In addition, 40 of these fatalities occurred in Mobile
homes.

The two nighttime tornadoes that have claimed the most lives in
our region include the November 6, 2005 Evansville, Indiana
tornado, which struck just before 2 am, claiming 25 lives. The
Harrisburg, Illinois tornado of February 29, 2012 occurred at 4:53
am and claimed 8 lives. These tornadoes and other nighttime
killer tornadoes attest strongly to the danger of nighttime
tornadoes, which are twice as likely to cause deaths as daytime
tornadoes. Between midnight and sunrise, the risk is even greater.
Tornadoes are 2.5 times more likely to kill people between
midnight and sunrise than during the day.

The primary cause of increased fatalities and injuries with
nighttime tornadoes is the lack of proper sheltering. The lack of
sheltering is typically due to a lack of knowledge (people
sleeping) that there is a tornado threat. Therefore, it is
imperative that you have a NOAA Weather Radio to alert you when a
Tornado Warning is issued for your area. Weather radios will sound
an alarm when a tornado threatens, alerting you to take shelter
immediately. You should also have a secondary or back up source
for warnings such as a cell phone.

The nighttime tornado threat increases as we progress through the
fall severe weather season and into winter. Our region has among
the highest frequency of nighttime killer tornadoes of anywhere
in the nation, so be sure and be prepared. Stay informed, know
where to shelter in a tornado, and ensure you have a way to be
alerted for a tornado. It may save a life!


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