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Storm Tested

Jeff Garretson - February 18, 2016 12:38 pm

KSAL Storm Spotter Henry Diehl

KSAL Storm Spotter Henry Diehl

One watchman on the wall is hoping the lack of severe weather won’t lull Salinans to sleep this spring.

“My concern is that people sometime become complacent because not much has been happening around here,” said KSAL’s Storm Spotter Henry Diehl.

Kansas had an above average number of confirmed tornadoes last year, but those living in central Kansas barely noticed the uptick. Diehl says the bulk of those 124 twisters touched down in mostly unpopulated areas and in western Kansas.

“We had a couple of very long track tornadoes in western Kansas,” he said.

“If you would have laid that storm track down across central Kansas – things would have been hit.”

Diehl, who is a farmer/rancher and volunteer firefighter has been chasing storms for media outlets for over 30 years and likes being on the front edge to warn our listeners.

“It’s very important,” he said.

“That’s where I see my job here with you guys at KSAL is to be out there and to be the eyes of the people and ears, so they don’t have to go out and look.”

“As soon as that warning comes through here I can dial in and start talking about what I am seeing with the storm and help people understand what’s going on.”

The National Weather Service says its preliminary data shows Kansas had 124 confirmed tornadoes in 2015, 83 more than in 2014.

City of Salina