Christmas Eve Forecast Calls ARES/RACES/SKYWARN into Action

Christmas Eve Forecast Calls ARES/RACES/SKYWARN into Action

ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARESĀ®), RACES, and SKYWARN volunteers in Upstate New York were called upon on the morning of December 24 to provide current snowpack amounts, future rainfall amounts, and river and stream gauge levels to the National Weather Service (NWS).

“Our ARES groups got a request from two local county emergency managers in the Catskill District of New York — Chenango and Otsego counties,” said Otsego County Emergency Coordinator Cory Telarico, KD2HXE. “The reason for concern and activation was the December 16 – 17 snowstorm that dumped between 17 and 41 inches of snow on the area, compounded with forecast rain for Christmas Eve into Christmas Day and the potential for serious localized flooding.”

Between the two county ARES groups, which included members of the Chenango Valley Amateur Radio Association out of Norwich and the Oneonta Amateur Radio Club in Otsego County, the volunteers were able to run nets on December 24 at 10 AM with 10 check-ins and at 7 PM with 9 check-ins, as well as a Christmas morning net at 7 AM with 8 check-ins.

“I observed the Susquehanna River rise in the City of Oneonta between 4.5 and 5.5 feet in a matter of about 6 hours while on duty as a New York State Park Police Officer, Telarico said. “All of our reports were forwarded to the National Weather Service as well as the two county emergency managers.”

Telarico said the event demonstrated “the true dedication of our members in the field in taking time away from their families during the holiday for the goal of public service.” The groups received a complimentary email from Otsego County Emergency Services Coordinator Arthur Klingler, Jr. “Your team’s dedication is greatly appreciated,” he said.