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Collin County Tornados 5-9-06 Discussion By Bruce Dingman, N5BYL
Plano Amateur Radio Klub ^ | 10May06 | Bruce Dingman

Posted on 05/12/2006 11:14:24 AM PDT by Professional Engineer

Collin County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Skywarn Spotters were on the job last night when storms went through the Northern cities of Anna and Westminster that produced two tornadoes.

At 8:30pm last evening the National Weather Service in Fort Worth alerted our appointed severe weather Assistant Emergency Coordinator (AEC)Ted Best, KD5JEO, of the severe weather potential for Collin County and asked that we activate our spotters. David Patrick, W7DAV, did a outstanding job as our Net Control Station (NCS) for this particular spotter activation.

As is usually the case, a separate frequency was used to provide support from our County Emergency Coordinator and AEC to the NCS. The volunteer Amateurs at the National Weather Service were also on frequency with us during this event.

At that time weather was only predicted to be small hail and high winds. By 10:pm it was becoming apparent that we were seeing more than expected. At 10:10pm we received our first report from a spotter of a funnel between Hi 75 and Hi 5 on CR455. where the city of Anna is located. One of our liaisons to the city of Anna relayed the report to the Anna Fire Chief and sirens were sounded just prior to the city losing its power. The city of Anna would not have had any warning if the spotters had not been there.

The funnel was tracked as it moved NNE just North of the city. At about 10:30 it dissipated. However, just a few moments after that, another larger funnel organized just behind the first one and became a tornado. This tornado moved from just North of Anna ENE toward the town of Westminster. Early estimates are it was a quarter mile wide. It tracked just to the North of downtown Westminster.. At approximately 10:45pm the tornado was reported to be “rain wrapped” and no longer visible to spotters and the cell that generated it was moving out of Collin Cty to the ENE.

Unofficial Damage Reports indicated their was extensive loss of structures, down trees, down power line, etc. From what the spotters could see after the storm passed this second tornado was unofficially classified as a category F3. Several homes were totally destroyed and others received damage. Large trees were downed. Officially there have been three fatalities reported with an additional 70 injuries, 10 were transported to local hospitals.

Collin Cty ARES members were put on standby while our Liaisons with the Red Cross and the County checked to see if they needed any further assistance from us.

Collin Cty ARES was instrumental in providing the early warning needed in this situation. No tornado activity was predicted from the NWS but when it became apparent that there was, information was passed and sirens activated.

About twenty-five spotters were actively involved with numerous others standing by to lend assistance if it was needed. Our Staging Coordinator John Beatles, N5OOM alerted his team of the potential of follow-up activation. Behind the scenes our NCS was being supported by our Weather AEC who assisted in keeping things in focus and coordinating radar reports and general storm status. The team is commended for a job well done. Their dedication and training has proven again the importance of early warning that the Skywarn program can provide to their community

TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: amateur; amateurradio; emergencycomms; ham; hamradio; publicservice; radio; skywarn; storms; texas; tornado

1 posted on 05/12/2006 11:14:25 AM PDT by Professional Engineer
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To: Peanut Gallery; 2Jedismom

2J, this ought to answer your question about what SKYWARN does.

2 posted on 05/12/2006 11:15:32 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (The economy is just terrible. My staff has "only" tripled in 18 months.)
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To: Denver Ditdat; bentfeather; The Mayor; Johnny Gage; snippy_about_it; alfa6


3 posted on 05/12/2006 11:17:24 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (The economy is just terrible. My staff has "only" tripled in 18 months.)
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To: Professional Engineer

Thank You PE for the ping.

Interesting article.

4 posted on 05/12/2006 11:23:42 AM PDT by Soaring Feather
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To: Professional Engineer

This storm and these tornadoes were a mere 20 miles north of where I live. We didn't get any rain, but we could see the storms forming to the north of us.

5 posted on 05/12/2006 11:44:08 AM PDT by SpottedBeaver (Tagline removed by Moderator)
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To: 1066AD; 1ofmanyfree; AlexW; ASOC; bigbob; bkepley; Brian Allen; BushCountry; Calamari; CenTex; ...
Ham Radio Ping List

Please Freepmail me if you want to be added to or deleted from the list.

6 posted on 05/12/2006 1:00:23 PM PDT by Denver Ditdat ("Deus Vult" is the answer to "Allahu Akbar")
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To: Denver Ditdat
Thanks for the ping DD. Our OEM has a pretty active SkyWarn program and a decent spotter network as well. We just had over 100 people get certified at the Wx Spotter class we had in March.

We've also been certified as a "Storm Ready" county. That's a pretty big deal as as weather is one of the principle hazards we face. Our EOC is the 'warning point' for 15 counties so it behooves us to have our rocks in a pile.

Once again, thanks for the ping!


7 posted on 05/12/2006 1:09:55 PM PDT by Lurker (Anyone who doesn't demand an immediate end to illegal immigration is aiding the flesh trade.)
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To: Lurker

Thanks for the ping on this one. I was listening to the spotters on my 2m. I'm IN Collin County, but luckily not in the northern part.

Damage totals so far I have seen are 10+ injured, 3 killed, 26 homes totally destroyed, and an unknown number of homes/property damaged.

For as bad as this one was, I am grateful it did not hit McKinney, as the loss of life & property would have been significantly higher.

8 posted on 05/13/2006 5:00:10 PM PDT by Vic3O3 (Jeremiah 31:16-17 (KJV))
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To: Vic3O3
Trained spotters can make a big difference.

We don't use 2 meter a whole lot here. Most of our people are authorized to use the local ESMARN frequency (155.025) and they coordinate through our EOC.

We usually have a HAM down here to handle any 2 meter traffic that comes in from other folks. Since we've got like a million bucks worth of radios down here it usually isn't too hard to scare up a HAM or two to work weather events.

Glad all is well with you and I'm deeply sorry to hear about the losses your community suffered.


9 posted on 05/13/2006 5:14:58 PM PDT by Lurker (50% of the country is not fit to run a convenience store.)
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To: Lurker; Vic3O3; Peanut Gallery; bentfeather; alfa6; The Mayor; Wneighbor; Denver Ditdat
A photo taken by one of the spotters involved.

10 posted on 06/01/2006 10:33:09 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (The lifespan of a "temporary" tax has finally been established.)
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To: Professional Engineer
Awesome and ominous clouds
of destruction
whirling in each and every direction
run to the cellars for protection
from nature's wildest form.
11 posted on 06/01/2006 10:38:11 AM PDT by Soaring Feather
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To: Professional Engineer

Outstanding photo PE. Is it one of yours?

12 posted on 06/02/2006 4:25:50 AM PDT by Wneighbor
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To: Wneighbor

No, I can't take that credit. Chad kd5umo took this. He was the guy right in the middle of all the action.

13 posted on 06/02/2006 5:47:35 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (The lifespan of a "temporary" tax has finally been established.)
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