Hams in Delta Division Prepare for Hurricane Isaac
As Hurricane Isaac makes its way toward New Orleans, hams in the ARRL Delta Division are bracing for the storms impact. As of 12:20 PM (EDT) on Tuesday, August 28, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center confirmed that Isaac -- which is 160 miles south of New Orleans, Louisiana -- had reached hurricane status.
The Delta Division ARES® EMCOMM Net activated at 12 noon (CDT) on Tuesday. According to ARRL MIssisissippi Section Manager Malcolm Keown, W5XX, the net will be on 7.275 MHz during the day, and 3.890 MHz at night; the shift between bands will be at the discretion of the Net Manager and/or NCS. This net will primarily handle tactical traffic. “If you are an experienced NCS and want to take a two hour slot,” Keown said, “please contact Net Manager Richard Webb, NF5B, at 901-465-9921.”
The Mississippi Emergency Net also activated at 12 noon (CDT) on Tuesday. “This is a joint operation between the Magnolia Section Net and the Mississippi Section Phone Net,” Keown explained. “Daily operation will begin at 0600 and continue until 2200 or later if activity warrants. The frequencies will be 7.238 MHz during the day, and 3.862 MHz at night. The shift between bands will be at the discretion of the Net Manager and/or NCS. This net will primarily handle health-and-welfare traffic and other issues related to Hurricane Isaac. A moratorium on inbound health-and-welfare traffic may be declared if it is obviously impossible to deliver the traffic due to storm damage. If you are an experienced NCS and can take a two hour slot, please contact Net Manager Douglass Sullivan-Gonzalez, K5DSG, at 662-832-0454.”
Keown advised that there may be periods on these nets when there are relatively long period of silence: “Please help to keep the net frequency clear. If you wish to rag chew, please make arrangements and move off frequency. If a net frequency is in use by others tune either side to find the Hurricane Net operation.”
ARRL Delta Division Director David Norris, K5UZ, explained that the four Sections in the Delta Division -- Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee -- are prepared for the storm. “All the nets are ready to go,” he said. “Local and State Emergency Operations Centers in each of the affected states have been activated and many of them have Amateur Radio operators that can help support their operations. We are putting the lessons we learned after Hurricane Katrina to good use and are ready to assist our served agencies. Delta Division hams are also keeping the adjoining West Gulf and Southeastern Divisions apprised of what is happening.”
The following is a summary of watches and warnings in effect:
- A hurricane warning is in effect for areas east of Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border. This includes Metropolitan New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas
- A hurricane watch is in effect for Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana.
- A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Mississippi/Alabama border to Destin, Florida and for Morgan City to Cameron, Louisiana.
- A tropical storm watch is in effect for east of High Island, Texas to just west of Cameron, Louisiana.