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ARES® Activated in Oklahoma for Tornado Clean-Up Communications

05/12/2022

To help with emergency communications support following an outbreak of tornadoes that hit this past week, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency of Management and Homeland Security requested support from the Oklahoma Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®).

During the first week of May, 12 tornadoes touched down in the central and eastern parts of Oklahoma. The tornado that struck Seminole, Oklahoma, on Wednesday, May 4, left EF2 damage, according to the National Weather Service. That tornado was a mile wide, and its path totaled 31 miles.

The request for amateur radio emergency communications support from the Oklahoma ARES was made on Thursday, May 5, 2022. ARES was activated on Saturday May 7, 2022. Seven amateur radio operators were active, providing voice communications between chainsaw and debris removal teams from their base at Seminole State College's volunteer center.

ARRL Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator Mark Conklin, N7XYO, said the clean-up crews worked quickly, and ARES was needed for 8 hours until cellular and wired communications were restored.

There were no deaths or injuries during the tornado outbreak, but clean up continues.



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