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Local twister myth unreliable

Just because we’ve been lucky and Maumelle has not had a tornado touch down, don’t be fooled by the myth that Chenal Mountain somehow redirects twisters headed for Maumelle, Fire Chief George Glenn said.

It’s a fabrication, Glenn said just like the Arkansas River serving as a buffer to push away potential tornadoes.

“Don’t be fooled. Sign up for Code Red weather alerts and take precautions by being prepared with designated planning,” Glenn said Tuesday reflecting over recent events.

Maumelle does not have a designated location for a storm shelter, Glenn said. The best way to protect yourself is to go to the city’s Website and sign up for the weather warnings.

He said you won’t get tornado warnings for the southern half of the county — only when its headed for Maumelle.

In his 12 and one-half years Glenn said the city has been very fortunate that funnel clouds were spotted over the city but so far none of them have touched down becoming a tornado.

But he noted the close call last Thursday just north of the city and a Panther Mountain strike a few years back.

But any one of those given the right weather conditions could have touched down and plowed a new entrance across the city.

Four Code Red flash flood warnings were issued on Saturday, June 1 at 9:17 a.m., 11:58 a.m., 1:55 p.m. and at 4:55 p.m. Fortunately none of those resulted in major flooding, he said.

But when the conditions are just right with the ground saturated and significant amounts of rainfall, which we did get, he said, that 2011 example is a scary reminder than flash floods can kill as quickly as a tornado.

Maumelle’s police and fire dispatch hand activated outdoor tornado sirens were activated last Thursday evening but Glenn reminded residents those are just for people outside and never were meant to be heard inside a home with a radio or TV or crowds making noise.

“That’s why Code Red is so important and why you need to sign up,” Glenn said.

You also need a weather alert radio programmed properly for our county and an understanding of how it works, he said.

Being prepared makes all the difference in protecting yourself and your family from weather emergencies.

Don’t wait. Sign up for Code Red alerts.

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