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NC had 104 tornado warnings in 2018. This statewide drill reminds us how to stay safe.

Some North Carolina students got practice Wednesday on what to do in case of a tornado.

At Raleigh’s Hunter Elementary School, an announcement came over the intercom to remind students that a loud noise was coming soon. Nick Petro, of the National Weather Service, was in the hall with a hand-held device to help test the state’s Emergency Alert System. That signaled to students to file into the hallway.

They lined the edges facing the wall and packed in close before dropping to their knees and curling into a ball to cover their heads.

The N.C. Department of Public Safety held the tornado drill statewide as part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, which began Sunday.

Following the drill at Hunter Elementary, Petro explained to a fifth-grade class exactly how tornadoes are formed and demonstrated it with an upside-down tornado simulator.

Last year, North Carolina had 104 tornado warnings, according to the department. Twenty tornadoes touched down last year, and March, April and November were the “deadliest months” for tornadoes.

Meanwhile, 244 flash-flood warnings were issued across the state in 2017, and there were 137 severe thunderstorms.

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