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Spring showers can pack punch
Fire officials urge caution in storms
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Forsyth County News
The potential for severe weather this spring and summer has the Forsyth County Emergency Management Agency cautioning residents that a rumbling in the sky could be a signal to take shelter.

The EMA is reminding the public to plan ahead for thunderstorm safety. Such weather can produce strong winds, lightning, tornadoes, hail and flash flooding.

Danny Bowman, Forsyth County’s fire chief and EMA director, said thunderstorms are common during the months ahead.

“It is very important that citizens realize the significant impact severe thunderstorms can have and know how to keep themselves and their families safe,” Bowman said. “All residents should remember the phrase ‘when thunder roars, go indoors.’”

Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said the county’s 12 new outdoor severe weather sirens will not sound in the event of a thunderstorm watch or warning.

“The sirens only sound in the event of a tornado warning,” he said.

Shivers explained that a warning means that a tornado has been spotted or is forming in the area. The sirens are designed to warn those outside.

“If they hear them indoors, that’s an added benefit,” he said.

Shivers said the sirens will sound countywide, even if a tornado is expected in one particular area.

In preparation for thunderstorms, the EMA suggests removing dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall.

The agency also endorses following the “30/30 lightning safety rule,” which recommends going inside when thunder is heard within about 30 seconds of seeing lightning.

After hearing the last thunderclap, according to the rule, stay inside for at least 30 minutes.

E-mail Julie Arrington at