Newsletter – April 9, 2015

Please see below for regional announcements, reminders, and an updated HSTP calendar. Below that you’ll find some driver reminders and information regarding tornado and flash flooding weather conditions.

Stand Up for Transportation Today!  #SU4T
Don’t forget to RSVP to the CVP Application Info session next week!

April 16th at 9 a.m.
Springfield Mass Transit District
928 S. 9th Street
Training Conference Room
Springfield, IL 6703
The source for flooding information, comes from the NTI’s Transit Employee Preparedness Guide.

Transit Vehicles:

  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warning signs as rain clouds or heavy rain.
  • Bus and Van: If there is a possibility of flash flood, move immediately to higher ground.
  • Bus and Van: Know of community evacuation routes. Use only routes recommended by local authorities.
  • Bus and Van: Do not drive into flooded areas. A foot of water will float many vehicles. Two feet of water will wash away almost all vehicles. If flood waters begin to rise around your vehicle, abandon it and move to higher ground, if you can do so safely.
  • You and your vehicle can be quickly swept away as floodwaters rise.
  • Bus and Van: Recognize areas where floodwaters have receded, possibly
    weakening roads which could collapse under the weight of the vehicle.
  • These tornado facts and myths were originally reported in the Spring RTAC 2014 newsletter.

Tornado Facts:

  • A tornado can occur at any time, but most often between 3 pm and 9 pm.
  • A typical tornado only lasts a few minutes.
  • Winds are stronger under a bridge (wind tunnel effect).
  • Wind speeds can reach 200 mph (higher above ground level, approach 0 at ground!).
  • Seek shelter in a sturdy, well-constructed building. Another alternative is to lie flat in a ditch, ravine, or below grade culvert.
  • If you seek shelter in a building, try to get to an interior room on the lowest floor, under a staircase, I-beam, or sturdy piece of furniture.

Tornado Myths:

False: “Cars can travel faster than the average tornado, so it is better to outrun the tornado than to seek shelter.”

For various reasons (some tornadoes move faster than cars, cars can be heavily damaged by even weak tornadoes, cars can be thrown long distances in violent tornadoes, driving is difficult due to accompanying hail and flooding rains) seeking shelter is best. One exception is that mobile home residents, given sufficient advance warning, should drive to the nearest secure shelter during a tornado warning.

False: “The northeast or east part of the building is the least safe.”
Actually, the section of the building in the direction of the tornado’s approach is the least safe.

False: “Opening windows helps equalize pressure.”
Actually, the atmospheric pressure in the eye of the tornado is only 10% less than the body of the tornado. Opening windows in advance of a tornado wastes time that could be spent seeking shelter, and being near windows is dangerous because it exposes people to flying glass.

False: “Tornadoes move exclusively in a northeasterly direction.”
The majority of tornadoes move northeast, but tornadoes, can shift suddenly due to storm motion changes or rear flank downdraft.

False: “Tornadoes don’t occur in winter.”
Though tornadoes generally occur in warmer weather, they can occur in winter, and tend to move faster than at other times of the year.


Acronym Key

  • CVP – Consolidated Vehicle Procurement
  • IDOT – Illinois Department of Transportation
  • IPTA – Illinois Public Transportation Association
  • DOAP – Downstate Operating Assistance Program
  • RTAC – Illinois Rural Transit Assistance Center


Eileen Sierra-Brown
HSTP Region 8 Coordinator

(fax) 217.328.2426

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