Summertime thunderstorms occasionally cause damage

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 1:58 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Thunderstorms are a part of our daily lives in the summertime in the Deep South. Most storms end quickly and dump needed rainfall, but some storms can misbehave and cause problems.

“People who are travelling or experience a severe thunderstorms while they’re on the highways or the roads, one of the biggest things is to slow down and drive with due regard to the conditions that you’re in,” says Eddie Ivy, the director of the Clarke County Emergency Management Agency. “If it’s raining that hard, certainly you might want to consider finding a safe place to pull off the road until you can see better and visibility improves.”

Storms moving across one area for an extended period of time can cause flash flooding.

“Obviously if you come across a flooded roadway, we don’t know what’s under that floodwater, we don’t know how strong the current is under that, we don’t know how deep that water is, so the best thing to do is to turn around, don’t drown,” Ivy explains.

Our summertime thunderstorms can also produce damaging wind gusts, usually in the form of a microburst. A microburst is when sinking air rushes to the ground and then rapidly spreads outward. This can do extensive damage.

“Being alert to those conditions and having a plan, being able to get yourself to safety and seek shelter is a key element, so obviously we don’t want to take those for granted and just assume, ‘hey, it’s just rain and wind,’” Ivy says. “The winds can bring down trees and power lines and things like that without it being a tornado.”

Remember that if you can hear thunder you are close enough to being struck by lightning so when the thunder roars, go indoors.

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