Weather Forecast


South Washington County issues tornado drills Thursday as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week

In the event that a severe storm or a tornado rolls through the area, do you have a plan in place? What happens if you’re stuck at work? Where in your home would you bring your family?

As Severe Weather Awareness Week continues across the nation, south Washington County residents will have two opportunities Thursday to get a quick refresher course in dealing with severe storms, specifically tornadoes.

As part of a statewide tornado drill, the sirens in the area will sound twice during the day, at 1:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m., giving businesses and families time to practice their preparedness plans.

In Washington County, there are four instances when sirens will sound:

  • Following the National Weather Service’s issuances of a tornado

  • When the National Weather Service reports sustained winds of 76 miles per hour or higher

  • At the request of a police officer or firefighter

  • At the request of Washington County dispatch

Craig Woolery, Cottage Grove’s public safety director, said the city is equipped with 11 sirens and to be aware that there is no “all clear” signal following the sirens.

During the afternoon, schools across the county will also participate in the statewide tornado drill and will practice their preparedness plans.

For more information about Severe Weather Awareness Week and tips for staying safe, visit the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s website