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Some are questioning the need for tornado drills

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - The spring tornado drill has been around for decades.  But this year’s may be one of the last in Missouri.

A movement is gaining steam to look at the need to continue the official drill in the future.

Today, when sirens sounded at 1:30 pm for the drill, most, but not all schools and municipalities participated.

At Eureka High School, students were ushered from their classrooms to the designated shelters in order to remind them of what to do if this had been the real deal.

Two years ago, in Moore, Oklahoma, it was the real deal.  An EF-5 tornado tore through Plaza Towers elementary killing 7 students and injury several others.

National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Jim Kramper says he’s not sure the need exists for a formal statewide drill any longer.  “I don`t think I`ll say it will be the last, but we need to start the discussion of if we need to continue doing these in terms of what are we really testing.  Are we really adequately testing all the various methods that these warnings go out on?  I don`t think we are because we don`t really have a method of tracking these to see who is doing what.”

Case-in-point, the City of St. Louis opted out of today’s drill at the last minute without notifying the National Weather Service.  City officials telling FOX 2 News they didn’t want to needlessly disturb folks on a gloomy day.

Let me know what you think of this idea of doing away with the formal tornado drill by heading to my Facebook page.  The National Weather Service would like to hear what you have to say.

Chris Higgins on Facebook