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The week of April 9th-13th is designated Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week. Local Emergency Managers, the National Weather Service and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security Emergency Management promote Severe Weather Awareness Week to remind citizens of the summer weather hazards we face each year in Minnesota.

Beltrami County Emergency Management will be participating in all activities throughout the week. Beltrami County is not immune to severe weather or summer hazards. In 2016 Beltrami County was impacted by two tornadoes and several damaging straight-line wind events. In 2017 Beltrami County was impacted by one tornado and several straight-line wind events. Since 1952 Beltrami County has documented through observations or damages over 30 tornadoes and many more straight-line wind events.

Each day of the week has a summer weather impact topic.

Monday: Alerts and Warnings. Beltrami County is served by the National Weather Service's Grand Forks Office. All watches and warnings are issued and/or disseminated by the forecasters in Grand Forks. NOAA Weather Radios provide dedicated weather coverage for the region. Almost all mobile device applications and commercial broadcast notifications are directly from products issued by the National Weather Service. Their website can be accessed at Remember, watches mean severe weather is possible and warnings mean severe weather is occurring or imminent.

Tuesday: Storms, Hail and Lightning. During the convective storm season, all elements of severe weather are observed in Minnesota from damaging winds, large hail and deadly lightning. Tornadoes are rare in Beltrami County, but damaging wind events are far more common. Hail does nearly a billion dollars in damage across the United States each year, and nearly 100 Americans die from lighting strikes. Remember the saying, "when thunder roars, go indoors!"

Wednesday: Floods. Flooding kills more people in Minnesota than any other weather event. Flash flooding is particularly dangerous as rapidly rising and flowing water can result in dangerous situations. Vehicles can float in flowing water and you can be swept off your feet. Being located near the Mississippi Headwaters and with ample lakes and streams, flooding isn't as frequent in Beltrami County as it is in other parts of the state.

Thursday: Tornado Drill Day. Two simulated tornado drills will be conducted on Thursday with outdoor warning sirens being sounded and NOAA Weather Radios being activated. Beltrami County Emergency Management encourages all residents, schools and business to participate in the drill. Two drills will be conducted, one at 1:45PM and another at 6:45PM to allow second shift workers an opportunity to practice their tornado response as well as families who are more likely to be at home.

Friday: Extreme Heat. The start of spring 2018 seems to be the winter that doesn't want to end, however, history has proven that it will eventually warm up in Minnesota. Before long, Minnesotans will be complaining of the excessive heat. While uncommon, temperatures can rise to triple digits in Minnesota. During those temperatures, even routine outdoor activities can become dangerous. During extreme heat, avoid excessive outdoor activities and drink plenty of water. Check on those susceptible to the temperatures including children and the elderly. Never leave children in vehicle unattended.

Visit the Beltrami County Emergency Management Facebook page for additional information throughout Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Christopher S. Muller

Beltrami County Sheriff's Office

Emergency Services Director

Emergency Management | 911 | Communications

613 Minnesota Ave NW

Bemidji, MN 56601



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