Amateur Radio Volunteers Supporting Emergency Communication in Storms’ Wake
A late-season, multistate outbreak of tornadoes and high winds on November 17 killed six people in Illinois and injured hundreds of others, some seriously. ARRL Illinois Tom Ciciora, KA9QPN, reported today that Peoria County ARES Emergency Coordinator Fritz Bock, WD9FMB, has responded with a team of volunteers to a Central Illinois Division Red Cross request for emergency communication support between sites in Washington, Illinois — a town of approximately 11,000 residents and hardest-hit by the storm activity — and the Red Cross office in Peoria. Most of the injuries occurred in Washington.
“Fritz tells me that VHF and UHF FM systems are intact and operating, which will cover the communications paths,” Ciciora said. “Communication support will be provided between the Washington Methodist Church, the Tazewell County EOC, and the ARC office in Peoria.” Ciciora notes that Tazewell borders Peoria County.
Illinois Gov Pat Quinn told reporters today that the storms destroyed or badly damaged upward of 400 homes in Washington, Illinois. The storms also affected Michigan, Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin. Seven Illinois counties, including Peoria and Tazewell, have been declared disaster areas. Many residents remain without power.
The storm system has moved into the Atlantic, but part of the East Coast were experiencing gusty winds and rain today.