Friday, June 18, 2010

Crazy Night & Frustration...

What a night...

I was out at the Northwestern Main Campus at 350 N & 400 W photographing the Softball and Minor League Championships.  Only the 5:30 Softball game was completed.  The Softball and Minor League Championship games which started at 7 PM were suspended.  I was photographing the games and that kept me from closely following the incoming weather.

I personally found that frustrating.  I tried to follow the info with my Motorola Droid and with my amateur radio hand-held radio but it is difficult to do both well and I focused on the photography. 

I also was frustrated and confused as were many of you by the early warning issued for Howard County.  I don't know what exactly happened but I am pretty sure the first warning expired even before the system hit the warning area.  While I understand this looked potentially ugly/serious, I don't think the first warning was warranted.  I would bet there was some mistake at the NWS.

My frustration didn't end there.  The tournament staff at Northwestern monitored the weather and halted game play and moved everyone indoors to the High School before the weather arrived.  Good job!

It was a different story at the Relay for Life at Kokomo High School.  I was not on site and cannot provide exact details but I do know that a long time and respected Skywarn Spotter went over to the event well in advance to give them a heads up to the situation.  They appeared to have given no forethought to severe weather plans and were not responsive to the information provided by the Skywarn Spotter.  I could hear his frustration on my amateur radio.

The frustration rose even more when he indicated they were just casually mentioning some rain was heading their way.  At that point I was reporting 40-50 MPH winds at Northwestern and yet they did nothing.  They exercised very poor judgment and ultimately when they realized how severe the weather was, it was too late.  From a couple of different accounts it seems almost all of the smaller/personal tents/canopies blew over and stuff blew all over the place.  I know EMA was out on scene to assess the damage and make sure they understand that more was heading in later tonight.

If you have any outdoor event, you must account for the weather and monitor forecasts and be proactive when severe weather threatens.  You cannot take personal safety lightly.

As for damage, there were a few trees and limbs down around the area.  A 2.5' to 3' tree was down on the east side.  I drove upon this at 880W and Hwy 22...

A second round is heading this way.  We will have to see how it holds up.

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