Officials weigh whether to open community tornado shelters amid coronavirus crisis
In some states, the verdict is in — the coronavirus should not stop you from going to a shelter. A Dollar General store in Tishomingo, Miss., destroyed after a suspected tornado. (Kayla Thompson/WTVA via AP) Hundreds in the United States have died and tens of thousands are being treated as the novel coronavirus continues to spread. Social distancing remains among the top priorities of medical experts, who recommend individuals come no closer than six feet to others in an effort to slow the virus’s spread. Schools and workplaces have been shuttered as social gatherings and religious ceremonies are forgone. But there’s one activity that can’t be done remotely via the Internet. And it’s a matter of life or death — storm sheltering. Severe thunderstorm and tornado season is soon to begin across the Deep South and the Plains. A number of tornadoes struck across the Deep South on Tuesday night, prompting a rare tornado emergency in Colbert County, Ala. There, life-threatening storms are a staple of springtime. With the likelihood of more dangerous storms to come, many are debating whether they should abandon social distancing and seek safety in a community storm cellar in the event of a tornado warning.