Fearing panic, Twins didn't announce tornado warning Tuesday

Hail at Target Field
Golf ball sized hail in left field during a rain delay in the bottom of the fourth inning of a baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 in Minneapolis.
AP Photo/Hannah Foslien

Officials with the Minnesota Twins say they're reviewing their severe weather policies after Tuesday night's tornado warning.

They didn't announce the warning in effect for Hennepin County during Tuesday night's game at Target Field.

"There's a fine line between providing information and then creating panic," said team spokesman Kevin Smith.

Smith said the Twins did make an announcement telling fans to seek shelter during the hail storm. However, some fans at the game say they didn't hear one.

Smith said if tornadic activity was spotted near the ballpark, the team's on-site meteorologist, Craig Edwards — who also occasionally works for MPR News — would have notified the team.

Smith said fans would then have been instructed where to seek shelter.

"The real imminent danger for Target Field was this hail and heavy rain that was approaching, not a tornado," Smith said.

Fans took shelter in the concourses, and the game was delayed for more than an hour while heavy rain and hail passed over downtown.

According to Douglas Neville, a spokesman for Minnesota Department of Public Safety, sports facilities are under no legal obligation to make fans aware of severe weather warnings, though most venues do have emergency plans in place.

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