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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB030 (2005)

ARLB030 ARES emergency net established after Missouri dam break

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 30  ARLB030
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  December 16, 2005
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB030 ARES emergency net established after Missouri dam break

When millions of gallons of water breached the wall of a mountaintop
hydroelectric reservoir in rural Reynolds County, Missouri, December
14, an ARES emergency net was quickly established on the Van Buren
repeater. The deluge washed down the mountainside, sweeping away
homes and vehicles and flooding the valley below.

A dwelling occupied by a park superintendent, his wife and three
children was among those washed away. The family was found a
half-mile away, and the children all were hospitalized, at least one
of them in serious condition. The town of Lesterville was under a
voluntary evacuation order.

ARRL District G Emergency Coordinator Dave Hannigan, KN0D, reports
stations checked into the net from Poplar Bluff, Piedmont, Eminence,
Elsinore, Van Buren, Redford and Koshkonong. The net also heard from
mobile stations near Leper, Piedmont, Van Buren and Ironton.

The reservoir breach reported occurred after a pump failed to shut
down at utility Ameren UE's Taum Sauk hydroelectric plant, which
stores water from the Black River in an upper reservoir, releasing
it to a lower reservoir to generate electricity. Hannigan said HF
and VHF stations activated at emergency operations centers in
Shannon and Carter counties.

"I was contacted by the Shannon County sheriffs dispatcher through
the NPS [National Park Service] dispatch," Hannigan said. "The
various net controllers kept me updated as I was working but had a 2
meter [equipment] with me. No emergency traffic was passed but it
was a good exercise, and I was really proud of the rapid wide-area
VHF radio coverage."

In all, 16 stations responded to the emergency callup.


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