Knowing about straight line wind and severe weather preparations - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Knowing about straight line wind and severe weather preparations

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We may not get tornadoes Thursday, but that doesn't mean let your guard down. Strong thunderstorms and straight line wind can be very dangerous. Straight line winds caused big damage in Alabama just three weeks ago.

"It hit, it was over, it was fast." Three weeks ago straight line wind turned this Jasper neighborhood upside down. It devastated Bonnie Wise.. who found comfort knowing she and neighbors survived. "A lot of people, it's all they had."

Less than a month later, some have moved away. Wise is moving forward. "We got a new roof, put on, thank the Lord."

Especially with strong to severe weather expected Thursday. Wise says "Just pay attention and be ready, it happened so fast for us." Wise didn't realize straight line wind could be so powerful.

Meteorologist Brian Peters says, "It doesn't have to be rotating for that wind to be powerful. A 40 mph wind has a certain amount of force. You double that to 80, you don't double the force you quadruple it."

Peters says you should always have at least two ways to get weather warnings, because tornado sirens sound only for a tornado. "If it's a severe thunderstorm, damaging wind, weak tornado or hail. All of them can be life threatening."

Wise says, "We are thankful and grateful that no one was hurt. We can thank the Lord for that."

Having a weather radio is very important in severe weather. You can buy one at most stores and remember to charge your cell phone. Also it's very important to stay away from windows during severe weather. Straight line wind can cause a lot of flying debris.

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