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ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX011 (1997)

ARLX011 Hams scaling back flood relief operations

Special Bulletin 11  ARLX011
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  May 2, 1997
To all radio amateurs

ARLX011 Hams scaling back flood relief operations

As flood waters along the Red River continue to recede in Minnesota
and North Dakota, hams in the flood-stricken area are taking a
breather.  Some hams are taking advantage of the lull in the action
(and a reported overabundance of willing ham radio volunteers) to be
with their families and to check on their own flood-damaged homes
and property, although roads in and out of a few areas remain

Reports from the Grand Forks, North Dakota-East Grand Forks,
Minnesota area this week said the Salvation Army ham radio operation
at Grand Forks Air Force Base had been shut down and moved to a
Kmart parking lot in Grand Forks.  Even as the need for emergency
communication abated along with the flood waters, operators from
other areas have continued to arrive in the area or to volunteer
their services if needed.  North Dakota Section Manager Bill Kurtti,
WC0M, reports the Salvation Army is making heavy use of HF and 2
meters for its communication needs--especially at its canteens and
relief stations.  But the need for additional emergency and backup
communication has subsided as telephone service has been restored in
many areas.

Harold McConnell, WA0YSF, of Cavalier, North Dakota, says ''the worst
seems to be over.''  McConnell reports that he and Don Thomson,
KB0YKD, also of Cavalier, were taking turns working in the emergency
operations center in the city of Pembina, where floodwaters crested
just below dikes.  ''We have been told to cease 24-hour operation by
the Pembina County EOC and have scaled back to an 8 AM to 8 PM
operation now,'' he said in a report to Kurtti.  ''That should help
give people a rest as we are getting a bit stressed out.''

According to Minnesota Section Manager Randy Wendel, N0FKU, the
impact of the devastation has not been lost on the hams who've been
volunteering in the flooded areas.  Wendel said he'd heard a ham on
a North Dakota HF net talk about his two days of helping out in the
flood zone.  ''The one thing that stuck in his mind was seeing people
crying and wiping tears while trying to eat their meals provided to
them while in the shelters,'' Wendel said.


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