B.J. Fictum, the Saline County emergency management coordinator, says people will learn about being ready for spring and summer severe weather and storm spotters will get training.
The event will feature Peggy Willenberg and Melanie Metz, known as the Twister Sisters.
“They’re still out on the road, they’re still chasing,” Fictum says. “When we talked to them in January and they expressed an interest in coming down. We asked if they’re still at it, and they are, they’re still chasing storms and doing tours. They had some really good chases lately they’re going to talk about in their presentation.”
The Twister Sisters return to the area on the 10th anniversary year of the tornado that ripped through the Wilber and Hallam areas, destroying much of Hallam. Both women aided in rescue operations shortly after the tornado, which rated as an F-4 and was on the ground for 52 miles across southeast Nebraska.
“Storm chasers, at least the good ones, the educational ones, do not only chase storms,” Fictum says. “They see someone that needs help, they see a person trapped, they see debris in the roadway, they’ll stop, they’ll solve the problem.”
Wayne County Emergency Management director Nic Kenmitz and Sheriff LeRoy Janssen are scheduled to give a presentation on last October’s tornadoes in the Wayne area. UNL Climatologist Ken Dewey and National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist Brian Smith will also be at the session.
Crete 4th graders will be displaying their artwork, which includes over 100 severe weather posters entered as part of Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Week.
Among the demonstrators, Fictum says a new addition this year is an interactive display of tornado safe rooms.
“They’re going to actually bring down two or three pre-fab safe rooms so people can take a look at what a safe room is,” he says.
Under an emergency management and Lower Big Blue NRD program, Fictum says more than 20 applications for grant funds in Saline County and another 20 in Gage County have been made by property owners to have safe rooms in their homes.
The Saline Regional Weather Seminar is Saturday. The workshop and training starts at 12:30 PM at the Saline Center, west of Wilber on Nebraska Highway 15.
Elsewhere, storm spotter classes are planned through the National Weather Service in the coming weeks in several Nebraska communities, including: Butte, Valentine, Maywood, Hershey, Broken Bow, Thedford, Mullen, Ogallala, Ewing, Dunning, Atkinson and Sutherland.
For details on upcoming spotter training, go here: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lbf/?n=lbfspottersched
Thanks to Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice