Category Archives: NOAA Weather Radios

Sinkhole costs, and prevention vs. reaction

The day after the VDT ran Lowndes County’s admission that the sewer line break was theirs, not Valdosta’s, did the VDT start a series of financial investigation like they did about Valdosta’s water issues? Nope, they ran a piece about how much weather costs the county, with no recognition of watershed-wide issues, nor of any need for the county to participate in proactively dealing with them, to reduce costs, for better quality of life, to attract the kinds of businesses we claim we want. Nope, none of that.

Jason Schaefer wrote for the VDT 27 April 2013, What natural events cost Lowndes taxpayers,

In the Deep South, near a river plain where floodwaters rise and ebb from season to season and wetlands that distinguish the region from anywhere else in the nation, flooding makes a significant portion of the concern for Lowndes County emergency management.

OK, that’s close to getting at some of the basic issues. We’re all in the same watershed, and we need to act like it instead of every developer and every local government clearcutting and paving as if water didn’t run downhill. Does the story talk about that? After all, the county chairman attended the 11 April 2013 watershed-wide flooding meeting that led to the city of Valdosta’s likely participation in flodoplain planning. Nope; according to the VDT, everybody around here seems to be hapless victims of weather:

Continue reading

Tornado report —Ashley Tye @ LCC 2012-03-12

No injuries or loss of life from the March 3rd tornado, but no disaster declaration and thus no government financial assistance, said Ashley Tye in a long report to the Lowndes County Commission this morning. Such reports are not normally repeated at the Tuesday evening regular sessions, so if you weren’t there, here is the only place you will see it.

Ashley Tye remarked:

The good news is that there were no reported injuries or no loss of life.
There was a lot of property damage. He said the National Weather Service determined it was an F2 tornado, and once it got to Walker’s Crossing it had winds of about 100 miles an hour. He said 34 homes were affected, of which 19 were destroyed, meaning uninhabitable.

He’s checking types of assistance that might be available.

Unfortunately, financial assistance is unavailable; it requires a federal declaration. And while the level of damage is obviously devastating to us in Lowndes County, it didn’t reach the level that would meet the threshold that would cause the governor to request a federal declaration.
He said there had been a tremendous outpouring of volunteer support. And insurance might pay off, although some people may not have enough insurance.

He added that the county’s code red emergency system worked well, and probably had something to do with there being no loss of life. I know I got at least six county code red messages that day before my message box filled up (I was in a building with no signal).

Commissioner Richard Raines asked if FEMA had to have a declaration for GEMA to respond. Ashley Tye answered: Continue reading

I am very concerned about a community that would purchase an armored vehicle over weather radios —Sharon Flory

Received 17 February. -jsq
My name is Sharon Flory and I am the Sales Representative for Alert Works Products, the company who was working with Lowndes County to distribute roughly 3,500 weather radios to the community. After working for about 8 months with Ashley Tye we were both ecstatic when the grant came through only to be shot down by the newly appointed commissioner. I could not believe what I read below.
She quoted Lowndes County priorities: tanks and lunches for Commissioners, but no lunches for seniors? -jsq
I am very concerned about a community that would purchase an armored vehicle, that would only protect about 5 people at a time, over purchasing weather radios that would protect upwards of 10,000 people when you consider the families that live in each home.

I am a sales rep and my job is to sell radios BUT my job is also my passion. I live in Ohio and have been affected by storms all of my life. I have been down right scared to death from storms and feel that the politics in this town is not moving in the right direction.

I see that you have the same feelings and hope that you can make a difference. Thank you for caring and keep up the good work. Someone will listen!!!

-Sharon Flory
Alert Works

Lowndes County priorities: tanks and lunches for Commissioners, but no lunches for seniors?

So the Lowndes County Commission wouldn't accept a grant for NOAA Weather Radios, (but did vote themselves $75/day travel per diem), wouldn't accept a grant for an emergency vehicle, cancelled lunches for seniors, and barely approved a grant to help people with home downpayments, but the Lowndes County Sheriff's office did accept a grant for an armored vehicle.

Dawn Castro wrote for the VDT today, BearCat Rules: Lowndes sheriff’s office has new armored vehicle

BearCats are typically referred to by law enforcement as being armored rescue vehicles primarily used to transport tactical SWAT officers to and from hostile situations and to assist with the recovery and protection of civilians in harm’s way during terrorist threats, hostage incidents or encounters with armed offenders. The BearCat is designed to provide protection from a variety of small arms, explosives and IED threats.

Sure, and it will never be used against peaceful protesters.

Last month in Tampa, Adam Freeman wrote for 21 November 2011, Are Tampa police using tanks to threaten Occupy protestors?

Members of the movement say TPD is cruising by in the big, armored trucks. Pictures spread around the country over Facebook and Twitter, leading to speculation that TPD was moving in with the tanks.

But officers say it's just a coincidence, and the vehicle act passed by on its way to a Great American Teach-In event.

Maybe the Lowndes County Sheriff's dept. would never misuse an armored vehicle.

And I know, the Sheriff is a constitutional officer and the Lowndes County Commission has very limited control over the Sheriff's budget.

But it's still our same tax dollars. Are these our priorities?


$75/day Lowndes County Travel Policy @ LCC 24-25 October 2011

Commissioner Crawford Powell wanted exemptions or exceptions to Lowndes County’s travel policy for “department heads, elected officials, County Manager”. Commissioner Richard Raines just wanted the limits raised. Commissioner Joyce Evans preferred they
…make a statement that we should not exceed a certain amount per day.
Chairman Ashley Paulk said exceptions were a problem and indicated they would be a bad idea. Powell and Raines are the same Commissioners who thought accepting a federal grant for NOAA Weather Radios would be “wasteful spending” of tax dollars and who refused a federal grant for an emergency vehicle. Spending local taxes seems fine with then when it comes to their travel expenses. They finally adopted a total of $75/day for meals. I hate to agree with Frank Barnas, but GSA standard for trips to Atlanta is $56/day.

At the Monday 24 October 2011 County Commission Work Session, County Manager Pritchard said the county’s travel policy had been discussed during their retreat and during budget preparations, with changes for mileage reimbursement, meal limitations, and use of tax forms. .

This is the policy we have been acting under since the adoption of the budget. I just wanted to bring it back before you to make this adoption public.
Joyce Evans expressed a concern about it saying the County Manager or his designee could approve expenses. She seemed to want the designee part removed.

Crawford Powell said:

Continue reading

Tornado Warning in Lowndes County right now

The National Weather Service map right now shows a tornado warning for part of Lowndes County:

This is at least the second time this month; here another tornado warning for Lowndes County, from 5 April 2011: Continue reading

What Are Our Priorities? –Dr. Noll @ LCC 22 March 2011

Dr. Noll raised a number of issues about community priorities at the Lowndes County Commission meeting of 22 March 2011 and asked what are our priorities?

The Sierra Club letter he mentions was posted last week. For NOAA Weather Radios see previous posts. Here is the video:

Regular meeting of the Lowndes County Commission, 22 March 2011.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.
Appended is the script Dr. Noll says he was reading. I’ve added a few links to relevant posts. -jsq Continue reading

Is Dixie Alley spreading?

So today we have a report of a tornado at Poulan (west of Tifton), tornados in Alabama and west, and right now the storm is sitting on top of Tallahassee in a circular pattern:

More maps of Dixie Alley from Is Dixie Alley an extension of Tornado Alley? by P. Grady Dixon, et al.: Continue reading

A new tornado alley?

Just a couple of weeks ago a local elected official told me “we didn’t live in tornado alley”. Well, after today’s storm in which apparently there were some tornados to the west before it got here, the Washington Post remarks on Mardi Gras storm risk & the new tornado alley:
Despite the lack of historic twister activity around New Orleans, tornado climatology indicates they become much more common due north into south central Mississippi and expanding northeast and northwest from northern Alabama across northern Louisiana, southwest Tennessee and into eastern Arkansas.
As you can see by the map they posted from a recent study, one pocket of this new tornado alley, nicknamed Dixie Alley, is in south Georgia.

The article goes on to quote a different study that said:

…Dixie Alley has the highest frequency of long-track F3 to F5 tornadoes, making it the most active region in the United States. … Based on this analysis, colloquial tornado alley fails to represent the areas of highest activity in the United States, indicating that a more comprehensive analysis of additional tornado alleys in the United States by the NWS may be needed in the future.
So yes, we do live in the new tornado alley.

Sure would be nice for people around here to have NOAA Weather Radios.


PS: Nothing but wind and rain on my hill. This time.

Tornado warning: you would have heard this on NOAA Weather Radio

This is what NOAA Weather Radio would tell you right now. I know this stuff because a friend called and told me to check on the Internet. But people who can’t afford $21 for a radio don’t have Internet connections; some don’t have telephones. When there’s severe weather frequently telephones don’t work, either.

The red line is severe weather heading this way fast:

WCTV reports Tornado Watch: Severe Weather Expected Throughout Fla. Panhandle: Continue reading