Skip to comments.Collin County Tornados 5-9-06 Discussion By Bruce Dingman, N5BYL
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
2J, this ought to answer your question about what SKYWARN does.
Thank You PE for the ping.
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.
Please Freepmail me if you want to be added to or deleted from the list.
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!
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.
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.
Outstanding photo PE. Is it one of yours?
No, I can't take that credit. Chad kd5umo took this. He was the guy right in the middle of all the action.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.