ARRL

ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX009 (1997)

SB SPCL @ ARL $ARLX009
ARLX009 Hams continue flood relief assistance

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Special Bulletin 9  ARLX009
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  April 22, 1997
To all radio amateurs

SB SPCL ARL ARLX009
ARLX009 Hams continue flood relief assistance

Ham radio is helping out as major flooding of historical proportions
along the Red River continues to overtake the cities of Grand Forks,
North Dakota, and East Grand Forks, Minnesota.  Most area residents
have been evacuated into surrounding towns and emergency shelters.
The Salvation Army has been assisting at many of the temporary camps
and shelters, providing food and other necessities, and Amateur
Radio has been providing an important link between various flood
relief sites and a Salvation Army warehouse in Minneapolis.

ARRL Minnesota Section Manager Randy Wendel, N0FKU, reports that
hams who live just outside the immediately affected flood zones have
been helping local government officials with flood relief
communication.  Wendel reports that ARES, MARS and other members of
the Amateur Radio community have been working together with the
primary aim of assisting the Salvation Army and other relief
agencies.

Wendel reports that one problem he's encountered is identifying hams
who are available to help out.  Some nearby areas have few or no
hams, so some operators have volunteered to drive long distances to
help out.  When an HF link was needed between Salvation Army relief
sites and the Minneapolis warehouse, a number of HF mobile operators
volunteered to make the nearly six-hour trip to Minneapolis to
assure communication.

Wendel also reports that many hams are among the flood refugees who
have been forced from their homes by what's being dubbed ''the
500-year flood.''  Many homes have been damaged or destroyed, and the
flooding was compounded by a fire in downtown Grand Forks.

North Dakota Section Manager Bill Kurtti, WC0M, and other hams in
that stricken state are reportedly working with the American Red
Cross and in other flood relief efforts.

Wendel said the various ham radio groups involved in the relief
effort have been working together well.  The disaster has brought
out many hams who had not previously been involved with emergency
preparedness but suddenly found themselves in the midst of a major
disaster--in some cases as victims themselves.  He said this has
served as a grim reminder that ''disaster doesn't always occur from
the comfort of our ham shacks.''  Wendel said hams must realize the
importance of ''having the capability to travel and set up a remote
station at various locations.''

Fred Lehmann, WA0PBL, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, reports that
North Dakota hams were using 75 meters for flood communication on
HF.  He monitored KF0DI in Minot as net control for a session April
21 on 3937 kHz.  Another net has been meeting on 3990 kHz.

President Clinton was scheduled to visit the flooded region this
week to survey the damage.  Wendel said he expected flood relief
efforts would continue for several more weeks.
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