By Enid Lake Park Rangers
Special To The Herald
ENID LAKE – Following the recent outbreaks of severe weather in North Mississippi, many of us have gained a new respect for the power of Mother Nature.
To help notify visitors of severe weather threats, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has installed a new tornado warning siren at the north end of Enid Dam. The siren will be activated by the Yalobusha County Emergency Man-agement Agency (EMA), when a tornado has been spotted or is likely to occur within the area.
Activation of the siren is coordinated with the National Weather Service, weather spotters and affiliated agencies. Upon activation, the siren will sound for three minutes, and then as needed until the warning has been cancelled.
Monthly siren tests will be conducted on the first Tuesday of each month at 8 a.m. If severe weather is forecasted during the scheduled testing time, the test will be postponed until the following day. Sirens are limited in range and due to weather, location and topography of the land it may not be heard in all areas around the lake. The Enid Lake Field Office would like to thank the City of Water Valley for their help in developing this system.
Enid Park Rangers also encourage visitors to always take the weather into consideration while participating in an outdoor recreational activity. Check the weather forecast when planning outdoor activities. Even a well planned trip can be ruined by rapid and unpredictable changes in the weather, so be prepared to take action.
If you are in or around water and you see lightning or hear thunder, you should get away from the water immediately and seek shelter inside a sturdy structure. You should never take shelter under a tree or other tall structure as lightning will take the shortest path to the ground. Lightning, like all electricity, is more strongly conducted by water than air.
By remaining in or around water, your chances of being electrocuted are greatly increased. Boaters in particular are at great risk of being struck by lightning during a storm.
Should a thunderstorm catch you by surprise while boating, immediately head to the closest shore that is safe to approach and take shelter. If thunder is close enough for you to hear, then you could be in danger of being struck by lightning.
High winds are often one of the most dangerous and overlooked weather conditions and can occur unexpectedly. If you are boating and high wind conditions occur, you should immediately head for the closest shore that is safe to approach.
Seeking shelter under or around trees, power lines, or any other unsteady structure is never advisable, as these structures often are not capable of withstanding high winds and can be the source of air-borne debris during high winds. The staff at Enid Lake would like to remind all visitors that tents, trailers, and RV’s are not intended to be used as shelter during severe weather.