What New Yorkers Need to Know About Tornadoes

Officials in Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma – states where tornadoes are more common – said exercises in which students walk into an enclose...


Officials in Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma – states where tornadoes are more common – said exercises in which students walk into an enclosed space, away from windows, helped ensure that warnings were taken seriously, even outside of school.

Experts said the practice would be helpful in New York City, which requires drills for fires and other emergencies but not for tornadoes.

History shows some of the horrors that tornadoes can inflict on cities. In 1896, a killed 138 people in Saint-Louis. In 1925, a tornado killed nearly 700 people in three states, injuring 2,000 others and wiping out 15,000 homes. In 2020, several tornadoes shredded East Nashville, killing 25 in Tennessee.

What makes New York City particularly vulnerable to a tornado, experts say, is its large population – largely unfamiliar with tornado safety – and its architecture, with many older buildings and an abundance of potential debris. .

In Manhattan, a powerful tornado could cause billions of dollars in damage. In other districts, neighborhoods could be destroyed and public services seriously damaged.

“This summer has really been a big wake-up call for this region, that we are not immune to the effects of severe thunderstorms and the dangers they bring, especially tornadoes,” said Megan Linkin, meteorologist and principal underwriter at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, an insurance company.

“You would have an extreme amount of flying debris, and the debris causes extraordinary and potentially fatal damage,” said Illia Azaroff, professor of architecture at the New York City College of Technology. The wind could make older buildings look like “a dog chew toy,” he said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: What New Yorkers Need to Know About Tornadoes
What New Yorkers Need to Know About Tornadoes
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