No City Storm Shelters in Amarillo - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

No City Storm Shelters in Amarillo

Tornado warnings were issued, sirens sounded, and the closest call in several years for a tornado passed over Amarillo Thursday afternoon.

But many people were left without shelter.

Most of the smaller cities in the Panhandles have standard shelter procedures.

But in Amarillo there's no place for the public to go that's sanctioned by the city.

The problem is the size of Amarillo makes it harder to keep everyone safe.

"Part of that is that our community is so much bigger and more spread out their's a real risk that if people move to shelter when the warning is issued they will be put into a higher risk situation than if they had just taken shelter in their own home or own location," said Kevin Starbuck, the Amarillo-Potter-Randall Emergency Management Coordinator.

The city says it's an issue because the national average from when a warning is issued to when a tornado touches down is 12 minutes.

Simply put, the logistics of protecting nearly 200 thousand people is more dangerous if they're all in one shelter or out trying to find one.

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