Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hurricane Watch Net Update - 2330 UTC Sept. 10

The following is from our friends at the Hurricane Watch Net
 (Update: Sunday, September 10, 2017 @ 7:30 PM EDT (2330 UTC)
Hurricane Irma made landfall near Naples, FL shortly after 5:00 PM EDT – 2100 UTC as a Category 2 Hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph.

The Net is currently operating on 7.268.00 MHz and will remain in operation overnight. We will suspended nighttime operations at 7:30 AM EDT – 1130 UTC. Daytime operations will resume on 14.325.00 MHz at 7:00 AM EDT - 1100 UTC, 30 minutes prior to shutting down on 7.268. Any change in Net Operation plans will be noted here, on our website, the networks of 14.300.00 MHz, and many additional amateur radio networks and media.

At around 1200 PM EDT – 1600 UTC, the sun unleashed a Class X-8.3 Solar Flare. This caused a widespread communications blackout for nearly 3 hours, which could not have happened at a worse time. But, we cannot control Mother Nature, only work around her.

Even with the poor band conditions, members of the Hurricane Watch Net persevered and did everything possible to help those in harm’s way. Many weather reports were received and forwarded to the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center. Additionally, we handled a few pieces of priority traffic this morning.

Considering the path of destruction caused by Irma, many areas are just now beginning to get HF communications somewhat restored. In addition to collecting weather data, we will be calling and listening for stations who have been affected by Irma with Emergency and Priority Traffic. Additionally, we are available to provide backup communications to official agencies such as Emergency Operations Centers and Red Cross officials in all areas affected by Irma.

To help those with Health and Welfare questions, we have a growing list of Health & Welfare Nets, Telephone Number, and more, found on our website homepage:

Please, don’t drop your guard on Hurricane José. Over the next few days, this storm is expected to make a loop and perhaps affect the Turks and Caicos Islands, Bahamas, Cuba, and south Florida by the weekend. Of course, a lot can change in 36 hours, so, let’s pray the storm heads out to sea and not cause any harm to anyone!

I wish to sincerely thank the daily users of these frequencies to allow us to serve our fellow man in a serious time of need. We do pray these storms are over soon as we, members of the Hurricane Watch Net, many who have regular working jobs, have taken time off to assist in Hurricane Weather Emergency. Please bear with us as we continue to help those affected and yet to be affected. We will return these frequencies to normal amateur radio use as soon as this Weather Emergency has passed.

Please, keep those who are in the path of these dangerous hurricanes in your thoughts and prayers!

As always, we are praying and hoping for the best yet preparing for the worst.

Bobby Graves - KB5HAV
Hurricane Watch Net
Net Manager