Voluntary statewide tornado drill scheduled for Wednesday

Drill is set for 1:30 p.m.

LANSING, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — A voluntary statewide tornado drill has been scheduled as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week.

The Michigan State Police’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division says businesses, organizations, families and individuals are encouraged to participate in the 1:30 p.m. Wednesday drill.

Those involved in the effort say nearly all state of Michigan facilities will be participating. However, 24 Hour News 8 checked with several local municipalities and Kent County and Allegan County will not be participating because they have pre-existing programs in place to test their sirens on a different date.

Although tornadoes can occur at any time of the year, they are more common during the late spring and early summer months. The average lead time for tornadoes to develop is 10 to 15 minutes.

In the event of severe weather, officials say the drill will be rescheduled for Thursday.

The drill is one of the events planned in Michigan as part of the awareness week. Officials say people should be prepared for flooding, thunderstorms and tornadoes.

Last year, a tornado hit Portland in eastern Ionia County damaging several businesses, churches and homes, while Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties were slammed by severe thunderstorms.

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