Enid Lake

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Enid Lake prepares for weather with new tornado siren

By Enid Lake Park Rangers


Following the recent outbreaks of severe weather in North Mississippi many have gained a new respect for the power of Mother Nature.

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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 Management 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 on that date/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 said the City of Water Valley helped in developing this system.

While participating in an outdoor recreational activity, one should always take the weather into consideration. Always 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 in or around water and lightning is spotted or thunder heard, get away from the water immediately and seek shelter inside a sturdy structure. One 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, chances of being electrocuted are greatly increased. Boaters in particular are at great risk of being struck by lightning during a storm. This is because they are often times the tallest object on the lake and are also surrounded by highly conductive water. Should a thunder storm catch one by surprise while boating, immediately head to the closest shore that is safe to approach and take shelter. If thunder is close enough to be heard, then one 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 boating and high wind conditions occur, immediately head for the closest shore that is safe to approach.

Point the bow of the boat into the wind and head into waves at a 45 degree angle. Once on dry land one should seek shelter in a sturdy structure. 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.

Taking the necessary precautions to stay informed of the ever changing weather conditions and knowing how to react will help to ensure a safe and enjoyable day at the lake.

For more information on severe weather practices, contact the Enid Lake Field Office at 662-563-4571 or visit www.mvk.usace.army.mil/Lakes/ms/enid/.