Friday, June 5, 2015

Hams Provide Assistance in Texas/Oklahoma Flooding

Urban Search and Rescue team, Texas Task Force 2 and
members of the Texas State Guard continue to search
the banks of the Blanco River to look for missing residents
of San Marco, Texas. (FEMA photo by Jocelyn Augustino)
Amateur radio operators provided backup communications for regions of Texas and Oklahoma inundated by historically-high rains and flooding in late May. The ARRL Letter says ham volunteers in ARES and SKYWARN were active in both states as residents struggled with flash floods and tornadoes. 

Previously suffering from a severe drought, Texas received nearly 9 inches of rain in May (mostly in the last week of the month), with Wichita Falls getting 17 inches; while Oklahoma saw more than 14 inches of rain fall, with nearly 20 inches in Oklahoma City. 

The unprecedented rains are being blamed on a combination of a growing El NiƱo in the Pacific and warmer temperatures in the Arctic which are slowing the jet stream and keeping weather systems over locations for longer periods.