Study of Tornado Debris May Save Lives

The University of Georgia is studying patterns of tornado debris.

The University of Georgia is studying patterns of tornado debris.

It has been two years since the historic tornado outbreak that hit the Southern U.S.  When tornadoes tore through communities and rural areas, many lost everything they owned.  Ironically, the shredded property like letters and family photos were blown from one location to another.  That debris is being used to study the patterns of tornadoes.

MyFoxAl.com reports that the most comprehensive study on tornado debris patterns has unveiled information that may protect life and property.  Students at the University of Georgia analyzed the takeoff and landing of nearly 1,000 pieces of debris.  Quilts, photos and a metal sign were used to present clues in how debris is lifted and where it might land.

John Knox, associate professor at the University of Georgia said social media has helped connect the finder with the owner.  “Twenty years ago, if a picture landed in your yard, you’d stare at it, wonder ‘Who does it belong to…and eventually throw it away, ” Knox said.

The research group knows that it’s not only the tornado but the debris that can be just as deadly.  In time, the study could lead to debris forecasting.