Severe storms eyed; weather radio event set
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Apr 10, 2013 | 842 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THIS SATURDAY, weather radios will be available for purchase at Ace Hardware in Cleveland as the second Community Awareness program gets underway. Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency will be distributing some of the radios free of charge to qualifying residents. McIntire Insurance and other local businesses and organizations are helping with the event. Banner photos, GREG KAYLOR
THIS SATURDAY, weather radios will be available for purchase at Ace Hardware in Cleveland as the second Community Awareness program gets underway. Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency will be distributing some of the radios free of charge to qualifying residents. McIntire Insurance and other local businesses and organizations are helping with the event. Banner photos, GREG KAYLOR
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Potentially severe weather is in the forecast Thursday as storm watchers will have their eyes to the sky while forecasters will be hunkered down watching monitors for latest developments.

In the meantime, emergency managers are also busy preparing for a weather-related community event to be held Saturday at Ace Hardware. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to Curtis Cline, administrative officer for Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency, for the second year in a row, Ace will team up with McIntire Insurance, WCLE and others to provide free weather radios to qualified residents.

For those who don’t qualify for a free radio, Ace will have the store stocked with the device for sale.

CBCEMA is coordinating the effort for qualification, according to Cline.

“Thursday is the deadline to call our office. Those who qualify will be contacted and will be able to have their radio programmed at the event on Saturday,” Cline said.

As of today, 47 local people have made the list, according to Cline.

April 2011 and March 2013 tornadoes opened the eyes of area residents. The storms of 2011 killed nine people in Bradley County alone. Hundreds of others were killed during the super-outbreak which covered the Southeastern states.

Scott Williamson of WCLE Mix 104.1 and Talk 103.1 is aiding in coordinating the weather radio giveaway.

“We will provide 100 weather radios courtesy of McIntire & Associates, Safeco Insurance & Ace Hardware. We will have bouncy toys for kids and hot dogs courtesy of Cooke's Food Store,” Williamson said.

CBCEMA officials will be on-site to help program the radios which can be obtained through prequalification for the giveaway, or for those who don’t qualify and still need to purchase the potentially life-saving tool.

According to Williamson, area law enforcement, city and county fire personnel, utilities representatives from Cleveland Utilities and Volunteer Energy, the Hiwassee Chapter of the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and other agencies will be present as well.

A few weeks ago, a National Weather Spotters class drew more than 70 people.

Anthony Cavallucci of the Morristown office said Bradley County is in a “Hot Zone” for tornadic activity, and this is why events such as the weather radio distribution are becoming more and more popular in the local area.

Even as planners prepare for Saturday’s community festivities, members of the same group are closely watching what could be unfolding for Thursday.

As of this morning, forecasters were predicting the most threatening weather to move into Bradley County between 5 and 7 p.m. Thursday. As far as a possible severe weather threat, emergency managers will be listening in today with Cavallucci to prepare.

NWS will provide periodic updates regarding the coming inclement weather which reportedly is associated with a strong cold front which will produce high winds as it mixes with warmer air.

Large hail and damaging winds along with heavy rainfall are the primary threats, according to Cavallucci.

“Bradley County is a Storm-Ready community,” said CBCEMA Director Troy Spence.

Social media, Nixle and other warning systems have been instituted.

“Every safety tool we can help provide hopefully means more lives will be saved,” Spence said.

Visit www.bradleyco.net and click on the EMA link to install Nixle and be able to search for other valuable information regarding Bradley County.

To qualify for a free weather radio, contact Curtis Cline, administrative officer for CBCEMA at 728-7289.