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Potential Severe Weather

The following notices were sent to the campus community April 18-19, 2019. - Ed.

Weather: Tornado Watch

April 19, 2019, 1:34 pm

The Williamsburg area is currently under a tornado watch. This means conditions are favorable for a tornado. Heavy rain and high winds are also in the forecast. Tune to your local weather station for current weather conditions and plan what you will do and where to go if a tornado warning is issued. If you hear the university's emergency siren during this period, please take shelter in the lowest level of the closest building.

As a reminder, here are the additional weather alerts we could see and instructions for recommended action under those conditions:

Tornado Warning: means a tornado has already been spotted or that Doppler radar is indicating storm circulation that can quickly spawn a tornado. In the event of a tornado warning, the campus emergency siren will sound. You should seek shelter in a basement or an interior hallway of a sturdy building immediately.

In the event of a tornado warning, take shelter in a basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck. Do not open windows.

If you cannot reach a stable shelter:

• Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
• Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
• Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
• Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

Potential Severe Weather

April 18, 2019

Dear William & Mary Community -

If you have travel plans this upcoming holiday weekend, I wanted to make sure you were aware that the National Weather Service is predicting severe weather along the east coast from the Gulf Coast over to Florida and up to New Jersey. If you will be staying in Williamsburg, the primary storm threat – which includes the potential for heavy thunderstorms, strong wind gusts and possible tornados – is for late Friday night into Saturday morning. Many areas could also experience flash floods.

In the event of a tornado warning please remain in a safe shelter. Additional information  and general tornado safety is available at this website,

With the strong wind gusts predicted, there is potential for downed trees and wires. Please stay away from downed wires and report any downed trees or wires to WMPD (x14596).

Sam Jones, chair

W&M Emergency Management Team