As storms approached the area on Friday, nervousness could be sensed throughout the city.
Weather warning after weather warning had been issued throughout the week, alerting citizens to the possibility of high winds, tornadoes, hail and heavy rain on Friday night and Saturday morning. In January, the rarity of tornadoes was being taken seriously by meteorologists and citizens alike.
Around 5:30 p.m. Friday, a tornado watch was issued until 2 a.m. Saturday morning for Harrison County and surrounding counties.
With severe weather anticipated for the area, the National Weather Service placed the county and surrounding areas into the ‘moderate’ risk category, one step below high. While Harrison County was included in the moderate risk category on Thursday, the moderate risk area had expanded to a larger region by Friday morning.
Information released on Friday by the National Weather Service highlighted a potential for 80-plus mph winds in the forecast and said the Storm Prediction Center believed this is going to be a “very long-lived, high-wind event.’
Adding to confusion, a brief activation of the Outdoor Warning Siren at Victory Drive/Oaklawn Golf Course occurred mid-afternoon on Friday as the city did a “growl” test to make sure all systems were working.
According to Fire Chief Reggie Cooper, the city was conducting the test to make sure the city’s system was working properly in preparation for the anticipated inclement weather.Outdoor Warning Sirens are only meant to be heard if you are outdoors, to send citizens inside for more information. It is necessary to have another way, such as apps, TV or a weather radio to get up-to-the minute information.
Marshall sounds its sirens any time any portion of Harrison County comes under a tornado warning.
As of presstime Friday night storms were making their way from the Dallas area to East Texas.