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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB073 (2002)

ARLB073 ARES Teams Assist Mississippi Town

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 73  ARLB073
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  December 20, 2002
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB073 ARES Teams Assist Mississippi Town

Amateur Radio Emergency Service teams from Mississippi have
converged on the community of Newton to provide emergency
communication support following a devastating tornado December 19.

ARRL Mississippi Section Manager Malcolm Keown, W5XX, said about a
dozen amateurs from the Metro Jackson ARES and the Lauderdale County
ARES groups are taking turns supporting relief agencies in Newton,
which has no ARES organization of its own.

The twister struck a Wal-Mart filled with holiday shoppers, blowing
out the front windows and collapsing part of the roof. Keown said
the two ARES teams had established a headquarters in the same
shopping center. The tornado also damaged a furniture factory and
other businesses.

70 people were hurt, but no one was killed. Property damage in the
town was said to have been widespread, and Gov Ronnie Musgrove has
declared a state of emergency.

ARES teams helped the Red Cross with damage assessment and shelter
communication. In the tornado's aftermath, telephone service and
electrical power were out in much of the town of nearly 4000
residents. Hams also made themselves available to local emergency
management officials.

Keown said SKYWARN teams had activated all along the I-20 corridor
in anticipation of the severe weather, and the National Weather
Service had issued tornado warnings.


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