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Tornado watch issued for Marshall County

A tornado watch for Marshall County as issued by the National Weather Service at 3:30 p.m. The watch lasts until 10 p.m.

A watch means that the potential exists for tornado development.

Following the July 2018 tornado that hit Marshalltown the watch has raised some alarms among residents.

Marshall County Emergency Management coordinator Kim Elder said it is difficult to compare this tornado watch with last year’s event. She said the 2018 tornado caught every off-guard.

Elder assured that if something serious is spotted, she will receive notification from the National Weather Service but in the meantime everyone should be aware of the watch.

“There is always a chance,” Elder said. “Watch and be aware that conditions are favorable.”

She urged people to be ready ahead of time, keep an eye on the sky and pay attention to local news sources as well as the internet.

“Know when the sirens go off it is always because of a tornado warning, unless we are testing the sires,” Elder said. “When there is tornado activity it will go off and you can only hear the sirens outdoors. Some people can hear it from inside but the sirens are for outdoors.”

With children getting out of school she also urged parents to talk to them about tornado preparation and to get to the lowest, inner level if a tornado is spotted.

“Get low and somewhere that puts the most walls between you and the outside,” Elder said. “Have an emergency kit ready to take with you into the shelter.”