Tornado Drills Planned for Thursday as Part of Severe Weather Awareness Week

February 24, 2004 - Posted at 4:18 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Tornado drills in schools and siren tests in local areas are scheduled statewide on Thursday as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week.

The drill was set for tomorrow but it was delayed because the weather is forecast to at least look threatening...not the time for a tornado drill.

The National Weather Service says it hopes to capture the attention of the public on the need to be ready for severe weather.

Officials are urging residents to purchase a NOAA weather radio, which can be set to broadcast weather service warnings for immediate areas.

National Weather Service statistics show that 63 tornadoes were documented in Arkansas last year, making it the third most active year for tornadoes in 30 years.

The state's last large outbreak of tornadoes was last May 16, with the National Weather Service confirming eight twisters that week in White County and near Benton and Bryant.  Those storms were small and confined to wooded areas but similar outbreaks in the past were devastating.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)