People! DO NOT seek shelter from Tornadoes under overpasses

When it comes to hail, just drive. You can always get a new windshield, however drive carefully. Blocking the roads leads to traffic congestion & accidents.

This post has been in the making for a while. This blog will talk about why you should not seek shelter under highway overpasses.

It’s suffice to say this subject has grown in significance following a recent severe weather even in the Oklahoma City area.

Countless people wrongly think that a highway overpass provides a safe haven from a Tornado. When in reality an overpass may be one of the worst places to seek shelter from a Tornado.

Seeking shelter under an overpass can put you at a much greater risk of being killed/seriously injured by a Tornado. The wind speeds of a Tornado can exceed three hundred miles per hour.

It’s suffice to say the (above mentioned) wind speeds can produce airborne debris that are blown into and channelled under the overpass where people might be seeking shelter.

Varying debris moving at unbelievable speeds can easily penetrate clothing and skin, which in the end can cause serious injuries or even death. The bullet points below list five relating facts:

  • If an overpass is directly in the path of a Tornado, the wind could change direction by nearly 180 degrees as the vortex passes over.
  • By climbing up higher to get under the overpass, you will wide-open to high wind speeds – more debris.
  • Flying debris become hazardous missiles in the airflow of the Tornado.
  • It’s suffice to suggest that most overpasses don’t have girders/support beams for people to hold onto.
  • The narrow passage underneath an overpass could cause an significant increase in wind speed under the bridge.

Where you should shelter instead

When you’re driving on the road, we highly suggest you try to drive to the closet sturdy shelter.

If that is not an option at the time, then this is what you need to do:

  • Pull over, park and exit car
  • Get to the lower level of the roadway – i.e. ditch.
  • Lie in the ditch, covering your head with your hands.

BOTTOM LIE: OVERPASSES DO NOT MAKE SAFE SHELTERS!