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Students, nearby residents question tornado warning issued by University of Maryland

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The University of Maryland Police department is facing backlash, over tweets and alerts that were issued on Monday afternoon.

“The dean of the journalism school comes in and she’s like ‘hey you guys we got to go into this hallway, because there is a tornado coming’ we were like ‘what’?” said University of Maryland student Ryan Romano.

“At approximately 5:19 p.m., we received notification from AccuWeather that a tornado may be imminent for our area. Based upon the warning and our conversation with their meteorologist, in the best interest of life and safety, we notified our campus community to seek shelter via text and email and sounded the siren,” said a spokesperson for the University of Maryland Police Department.

Chief Meteorologist Bill Kelly says typically tornado warnings come from the National Weather Service, but the agency did not issue an alert for the area at that time.

“The alerts would’ve gone out, not just to an isolated place,” said Kelly.

AccuWeather believes they made the right call, in the interest of the campus, despite the confusion it created for some.

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“Our warning was issued, based on the fact that there was strong rotation in that particular area. Our expert meteorologist, trained in detecting tornadoes, felt there was an immediate risk for a tornado in that particular location, given the history of what happened today,” said Jonathan Porter, who is the General Manager and VP of AccuWeather enterprise solutions.

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