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Some N.C. Counties Unable To Receive Early Weather Warnings

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WAYNE COUNTY — Severe Weather Awareness Week in North Carolina is just around the corner, but some residents are not waiting until then to prepare.

Several communities in the area do not receive emergency warnings from theNational Weather Service. The "dead zones" include areas within a 20-mile radius of Goldsboro, including parts of Johnston and Wilson counties.

A weather alert radio would be useless in Wayne County. The signals the National Weather Service sends out do not reach the area because the closest transmitters are in Raleigh and Tarboro. The state has come up with the money for a new transmitter, but it will take six to eight months to install.

"Wayne County is covered by the Emergency Alert System," says George Lemons, NWS Meteorologist. "Every TV and radio station that goes into Wayne County carries all of our warnings so everybody has access to our information."

Most people say they rely on the media for weather warnings. The company that owns every station but one in Wayne County decided not to wait on the new transmitter.

Curtis Media Group installed their own antenna so that it can better pick up warnings from the tower in Tarboro and get the information on the air.

"Reporting weather in bad weather is part of the job," says Tony Denton of Curtis Media Group. "We wanted to make sure we had the most recent news, and if there is bad weather in the area, to get it on as quickly as possible."

County emergency services workers say they also have the warnings covered.

"Anytime inclement weather comes, they can, and do, dispatch simultaneously fire, rescue and law enforcement and keep them up to date and abreast with all weather information," says Mel Powers of Wayne County Emergency Services.

The county emergency service workers rely on a direct phone line to the weather service and computer radar for information.


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