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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB092 (1998)

ARLB092 Hurricane Watch Net keeping eye on Mitch

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 92  ARLB092
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  October 28, 1998
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB092 Hurricane Watch Net keeping eye on Mitch

Since activating October 24, the Hurricane Watch Net on 14.325 MHz
has been tracking Hurricane Mitch--still an extremely dangerous
Category 5 storm--as it moves toward landfall either in Belize or in
Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. ''Our operation is proceeding well,''
Hurricane Watch Net Manager Jerry Herman, N3BDW, said Tuesday. He
said the net has had very good response from Honduras and Belize.
''We have some stations that we have been working with that are in
harms way.''

Herman said the main concern was to ensure that stations--and
residents--had sufficient information about storm surges and winds
so they can seek shelter. The storm has sustained winds in excess of
155 MPH. Guatemala, to the south, also was bracing for possible
storm effects.

Some Hurricane Watch Net participants in the US and Caribbean have
had less than a month to recover from the marathon Hurricane Georges
operation, but Herman says all the regulars are ''refreshed and ready
to go.''

For much of the day, the slow-moving storm's center has remained
over water. ''The one exception was Swan Island--of DX fame--where
the eye passed directly overhead,'' Herman said. ''We were able to
relay the warnings through VE3MCM/HR who, in turn, relayed them to
the people on the island via nonamateur SSB radio.''

Herman reports that Balta Sanchez, XE1UNR, has established the
Mexican Hurricane Net on 7055 kHZ and has been forwarding reports
from the Yucatan to the Hurricane Watch Net via radio and e-mail.
''We also have had good support from a number of Cuban stations who
have acted as interpreters from English to Spanish for us,'' Herman

''This looks like it will be another prolonged operation.''

During the past weekend, Herman said, the net had good participation
from Jamaica, the Caymans, and Cuba. He reports that most operators
during the CQ WW SSB contest were very cooperative and made room for
the net.


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