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CANCELED: Tornado WATCH in effect until 5:00 p.m. CDT for Waco, McLennan County | Media and public relations

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Contact: Baylor University Media and Public Relations254-710-1961
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4:25 p.m. CT, April 9, 2024

The National Weather Service has canceled the tornado watch for Central Texas, including Waco and McLennan County, Texas. Always stay WEATHER READY.

9:45 a.m. CT, April 9, 2024

WACO, Texas (April 9, 2024) – The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado WATCH for Central Texas, including Waco and McLennan County, Texas, effective until 5:00 p.m. CDT tonight (Tuesday, April 9, 2024).

A Tornado WATCH means tornadoes – along with damaging winds and hail – are possible in and near the watch area.

Be weatherproof:

Because you are aware of the threat of severe weather today, we ask that you review and discuss your emergency plans. Baylor's tornado safety guide can be found here. Actions to be taken include:

  • Check supplies, make sure your phone is charged, and check the safe space in your house, apartment, or dorm.
  • If you live in a residence hall at Baylor, make sure you know where your severe weather gathering area is in your residence hall. These areas are identified on Building Emergency Plan maps in each building and are also available via an online map.
  • Be prepared to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching.

If a Tornado WARNING is issued:

There are several ways the City of Waco, McLennan County and Baylor University warn their respective communities of an impending tornado and what actions to take:

  • Tornado sirens: The City of Waco-McLennan County Office of Emergency Management operates a network of sirens located throughout the city and county. Baylor University also operates its outdoor notification system, including sirens, on its campus. The sirens are activated when there is a tornado warning or if there is an impending tornado threat.
  • Baylor Alert emergency notification system: Baylor will also activate its multi-tiered Baylor Alert emergency notification system, which includes emergency email and text messages, audio messages to a cell phone or other phone, outdoor/indoor campus notification systems, Baylor's main website and official Baylor social media -Accounts at includes Facebook, @Baylor Twitter and @BaylorUniversity on Instagram and the Baylor Information Line at 254-710-4411.
  • Local media, weather radios and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).

Safety measures:

Inside

  • Immediately seek shelter on the ground floor, in an indoor area.
    • Severe weather gathering areas in each building on the Baylor Waco campus are identified on building emergency plan maps in each building and are available through a Online map.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Stay away from windows, doors and exterior walls.
  • Avoid large roof areas such as auditoriums, gymnasiums, dining rooms and large hallways.

Dorms

  • Residence hall directors and available staff will gather all residents in severe weather gathering areas (identified on building emergency plan maps throughout the facility).
  • Residents should bring blankets to protect themselves from debris.
  • Remain in severe weather staging areas until the tornado passes and the all clear is issued via the Baylor Alert.

Outside

  • If possible, find a covered shelter.
  • Parked motor vehicles are unsafe.
  • If indoor shelter is not available and there is no time to escape, lie flat in a ditch or low spot.
  • If you are on level ground and enter the path of a tornado, always move at right angles to the path of the tornado.

Individuals with mobility/disabilities or physical disabilities:

Supervisors and instructors are responsible for identifying and guiding individuals with limited mobility or physical disabilities who are in their offices/facilities or classrooms to safety in the event of a tornado warning.

The elevators can be used to transport people with reduced mobility or physical disabilities and their companions to a safer location. Visually and hearing impaired individuals can be accompanied down the stairs, but may need assistance navigating crowded stairwells and finding a safer location.

In the event of a power outage, people who cannot use the stairs and their companions should move to a windowless indoor area Call Baylor University Police (254-710-2222) This informs the responsible emergency personnel of the location.