Are Underpasses Safe Shelter During a Tornado?

by Roma Vivas
NewsWest 9

PERMIAN BASIN - Underpasses may seem like a safe place to seek shelter in during a tornado.

It's made out of concrete and it seems steady enough, right?

Actually, it's one of the most dangerous places you can be.

A rumor started over ten years ago that underpasses were safe when a video aired on televeision.

It shows how one family sought shelter under an overpass in Kansas and survived.

The video shows the twister approach and go right over the Highway.

On Monday in Pecos County, a tornado hit near mile marker 278 on Interstate 10.

It was reported people were seeking shelter under the over pass, but Meteorologists say this is not a safe way to survive a twister.

"Underpasses are elevated and you are having to climb up the hill to get underneath the overpass and there is just not enough of a place where you are protected that will allow you to really take shelter," David Hennig, with the National Weather Service, said.

Experts say the debris that tornadoes carry is what hurts and kills people, and being under an overpass does not protect you from those flying objects.

Meteorologists say get out of your car and get in a ditch, and cover your head with your hands.

Experts also recommend to stay away from your vehicle, because it may roll over during the high winds.

We have to rememeber the winds of a tornado can go anywhere form 60 to even 300 miles an hour.