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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB077 (1999)

ARLB077 North Carolina and Virginia ARES/RACES continue flood response

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 77  ARLB077
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  September 21, 1999
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB077 North Carolina and Virginia ARES/RACES continue flood response

Amateur Radio Emergency Service and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency
Service groups in North Carolina and Virginia continue efforts to
respond to flooding resulting from Hurricane Floyd.

"As far as I can tell, we're still on the uphill slope," said North
Carolina Section Manager Reed Whitten, AB4W. "There's no reason to
believe things will get better soon." Whitten estimated that upwards
of 300 amateurs statewide are actively involved in the Hurricane
Floyd response.

"Amateur Radio operators are providing communication for the State
EOC in Raleigh and in Pitt, Edgecombe, Craven, Hertford and other
counties," Whitten said. Amateurs from North and South Carolina have
traveled to the affected area to assist. Additional relief operators
are on standby and are being scheduled by North Carolina ARES/RACES.

Whitten said hams also are staffing shelters, handling traffic, and
acting as net control stations, as well as supporting outside relief
efforts by the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and others.

Most of the problems result from flooding of the Tar, Neuse, Chowan
and Croatan rivers in eastern North Carolina. Whitten says the city
of Greenville has lost its water supply. A ham station has been set
up at the Pitt Memorial Hospital.

More relief operators were scheduled to travel to the hard-hit
community of Tarboro this morning. Tarboro was completely cut off by
the flooding of the Tar River, and relief workers have had to be
transported in and out via helicopter. Additional volunteers were
standing by to fill requests from other counties today. While most
amateur traffic is being handled on VHF and UHF, the statewide Tar
Heel Emergency Net on HF is operating continuously to support county
operations. An FCC-declared voluntary communications emergency
continues in effect for 3923 and 7232 kHz in North Carolina.

The American Red Cross currently is housing more than 6400 people in
65 shelters in North Carolina, and hams also are providing
communication for evacuees. The Salvation Army is operating mobile
feeding units and one shelter.

To the north, Virginia Section Manager Lynn Gahagan, AF4CD, says
flooding along the Nottaway and Blackwater rivers has caused
extensive flooding in the City of Franklin as well as in the towns
of Courtland and Sedley and in Southampton and Isle of Wight
counties. The City of Franklin--near the North Carolina border--has
experienced its worst flooding ever with the downtown area and
businesses under more than 12 feet of water. Nearly all traffic
going in and out of Franklin--including police and fire
communication--is being handled by ham radio.

He said hams were using VHF and repeaters for the most part, and he
predicted telephone service could be out for another couple of weeks
or more.

ARES/RACES officials in North Carolina and Virginia have requested
that amateurs wishing to volunteer first sign up with ARES
officials. Whitten says prospective flood zone volunteers from other
part of the state should first contact him via e-mail at Whitten said volunteers should have at least a
Technician license and a 2-meter mobile radio with portable power.
Volunteers should be prepared to stay for at least two days. Gahagan
says Virginia volunteers should contact him (at 757-545-1290) or the
Virginia Department of Emergency Services ( He
said hams volunteering should have dualband (2 meter/70 cm)
capability, preferably with 50 W.

In no case should volunteers in either state attempt to travel to
stricken areas without being specifically requested to do so.

Gahagan has requested that all health-and-welfare traffic entering
and leaving Virginia be handled as packet as much as possible. He
said traffic should be routed to

Hurricane Watch Net NCS Mike Pilgrim, K5MP, says the net has
received its final update from VP9HK at the conclusion of the
Emergency Management meeting in Bermuda and no more assistance is

"It is also evident that Tropical Storm Harvey has ceased to be a
threat, so we are now declaring the Hurricane Watch Net secured," he
announced Tuesday afternoon.


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