Statewide tornado drill set for Tuesday morning

By Erin Brookshier - Virginia Today Reporter

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - The annual Virginia tornado drill happens today, and now that spring is here, there's a higher potential for severe weather.

The drill comes just over a year after the deadliest tornado event in the Commonwealth in more than 50 years.

On February 24 of last year, a series of tornadoes touched down in Appomattox County, Waverly, and Sussex, killing five people and hurting 45 others.

Virginia averages about sixteen tornadoes each year, according to the National Weather Service, which is why it's important for not only schools but businesses and families to practice their emergency plans.

It's a lesson the Roanoke City Fire Department is able to run through in real time, with their tornado simulator.

Today is the statewide tornado drill so schools all across the region are going to be practicing what to do in case of a tornado.

The drill will take place at 9:45 a.m., and will start with a test tornado radio warning sent out by the National Weather Service.

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