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‘Man of Steel’ Misleads in Tornado Safety Says National Weather Service

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Weather officials in Tornado Alley have raised concerns about a scene in the new Superman movie that incorrectly portrays a highway overpass as a safe place to hide during a tornado.

In the major motion picture “Man of Steel,” Clark Kent’s dad, played by Kevin Costner, sees a tornado approaching as he’s driving with his family. He then urges his family and other motorists to seek shelter under a highway overpass.

That contradicts the tornado safety information put out by weather officials. The National Weather Service says an overpass may actually be one of the worst places to seek shelter from a tornado because it puts people at risk of being hurt by flying debris.

Warner Bros. says the film is fiction and events depicted aren’t intended as emergency preparedness advice.

According to Wikipedia and tornado myths:

Meteorologists insist that overpasses are insufficient shelter from tornado winds and debris, and may be the worst place to be during a violent tornado.The embankment under an overpass is higher than the surrounding terrain, and the wind speed increases with height. Additionally, the overpass design may create a “wind-tunnel” effect under the span, further increasing the wind speed. Many overpasses are completely exposed underneath and most lack hanging girders or a crawlspace-like area to provide sufficient protection from debris, which can travel at high speeds even in weak tornadoes. People stopping underneath overpasses block the flow of traffic, putting others in danger.”

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