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Afternoon and evening tornado drills set for today

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Northland communities will participate in tornado drills today as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Emergency sirens in Minnesota and Wisconsin will sound at 1:45 p.m. for the first tornado drill. Minnesota communities will conduct a second drill in the evening, at 6:55 p.m., giving people who were at work or school during the day an opportunity to go through a tornado drill at home.

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In Duluth, the emergency sirens at Minnesota Avenue and 29th and Chambersburg and Morris Thomas will not sound because they are undergoing maintenance, according to the city.

Tornado season typically begins in March and doesn’t end until November, with peak months usually being April, May and June, according to the National Weather Service.

“Last year’s tornado season was really quiet,” said Kevin Huyck, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Duluth. “There was one tornado by Remer, Minnesota. Other than that, all we had were a couple of strong storms."

Officials suggest residents use the test sirens to prepare in the event of a real tornado.

During a tornado people should seek shelter in the lowest level of a building, a basement, a room without windows, a hallway or a bathroom. Crouch face down to the floor, and cover vulnerable areas like head and neck. If outside, avoid seeking shelter under bridges, by trees, near heavy objects or in a car; lay flat on the ground and protect your head.

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