Fri June 8, 2012
Last piece of weather radio system in place in Wisconsin
More than 40 years after the first weather radio station went on the air in Wisconsin, the all-hazards NOAA radio system is complete.
The last three weather radio stations went up near Tomah, Shawano, and this week, radio transmission began from Spooner to cover dead spots on the Lac Courte Oreilles reservation and Hayward area. Educational Communications Board northwestern technical manager Steve Bauder says they have 27 stations covering 95% of the population, “Those three are complete. This was the last of this phase. We don’t have any concrete plans for further improvements. This completes the areas that were identified but we’re open, always open, to needs.”
National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Carol Christenson oversees the northwestern Wisconsin region. She says weather radios can be a life-saver in the isolation of the northwoods where cell phone signals and sirens aren’t always available, “You may not be anywhere near an outdoor siren. The best way to get the information is via weather radio because it comes straight from the National Weather Service and it will alert you.”
Even with automated National Weather Service announcements over AM and FM radio stations, Christenson says this all-hazards radio network is needed, “Absolutely there’s a need for a weather radio in every house because the weather radio can be put in standby mode and when a warning is issued, it will automatically turn on with an alarm, hopefully get your attention, because something important is about to be relayed to you.”
The Wisconsin weather radio network also relies on two Minnesota border stations, one in La Crescent and the other in Pine City, which will covers Burnett County.