Expert: 'Tonganoxie Split,' other myths offer no protection from tornadoes

03/10/2014 9:19 AM

03/10/2014 9:35 AM

Weather experts in Kansas say people should not trust in myths to keep them safe during severe weather.

A legend called the Tonganoxie Split, for example, purports the hills divert severe weather away from the Kansas City metropolitan area, Lawrence and Tonganoxie. But in fact, a tornado hit Tonganoxie in 2000, causing $2.1 million in damage to more than 200 homes and nine businesses.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports other area weather myths officials say shouldn't be believed are that tornadoes can't jump Burnett's Mound, a high point in the southwest part of Topeka, and that tornadoes can't cross rivers or form at high altitudes.

National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Barjenbruch warns against having a false sense of security based on myths, and says residents should always have safety plans.

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