89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 2:15 PM
Impacts on city policy from the early morning tornadoes that hit Omaha, Nebraska on 8 June, 2008
Room 121A (Phoenix Convention Center)
Daniel Nietfeld, NOAA, Valley, NE
During the early morning hours of 8 June, 2008, a severe thunderstorm moved through the Omaha, Nebraska metropolitan area. Two tornadoes occurred with this storm (one was rated EF2 and the other EF1), and tracked through the southwest section of Omaha causing extensive damage to homes and businesses. The tornadoes were not well predicted, and touched down prior to the issuance of any warnings.

This event generated much discussion throughout the community, including citizens, the media, emergency responders, and public officials. The discussions led to reviewing and questioning the city's policy on the use of its outdoor sirens, and prompted a modification to the policy. The new policy was exercised nineteen days later when a line of severe thunderstorms moved through Omaha and caused extensive damage from straight-line winds in excess of 100 mph. The circumstances with the wind event were such that the sirens were utilized as a result of the new policy.

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