Tornado debris study could lead to better warnings

Tornado debris study could lead to better warnings

By JEFF MARTIN
Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - Photos and mementoes that were snatched up and blown hundreds of miles by a cluster of Southern tornadoes are giving researchers new insight on how debris is carried by the storms and how it could threaten the public.

A new study has documented one picture's flight of almost 220 miles over Alabama and Tennessee in 2011. That is among the longest-documented trajectories of tornado debris, the researchers found.

The photo was among 934 objects in a database built by University of Georgia associate professor John Knox and his students. They say the research could aid public safety by predicting where tornado-borne toxic or radioactive debris might fall.

The research relied heavily on a Facebook page created by an Alabama woman, who posted pictures of the debris.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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