Statewide tornado drill Wednesday

North Carolina will test its tornado-preparation plans Wednesday.

The National Weather Service (NWS) will conduct a statewide tornado drill at 9:30 a.m. on all weather radios and public alert systems, including local TV and radio stations.

NWS and Gov. Bev Perdue encourage schools and businesses across the state to practice tornado drills and enact safety plans at the same time.

It's Severe Weather Awareness Week in the state, according to declarations by Perdue and the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

Officials throughout the state will examine new topics each day this week, including severe thunderstorms today, lightning on Tuesday, tornadoes on Wednesday, flooding on Thursday and weather-alert processes on Friday.

Tornadoes spawned in two parts of the state this past Friday. Storms damaged areas in extreme western North Carolina near Murphy, and another tornado destroyed homes and injured several people in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties.

In January, tornadoes destroyed homes in Burke and Rutherford counties.

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