Monday, 19 November 2012

Hurricane Sandy Report

October 29th saw the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on the US Eastern seaboard, and a pile of bad weather heading for Ontario.  The Environment Canada weather forecast was calling for sustained winds of 70 kph, gusting 90 to 100 kph and heavy rain.

During Frontenac Emcomm Team Sunday evening net, Phil KB5AMQ, the EC for Jefferson County NY ARES Group, based in Watertown, checked in to pass along the details of their plans so we would be aware of them, and able to liaise with them if needed. 
Plans were quickly put into place after the Frontenac Emcomm net for the following day and a general email was sent out to all members with the details.  It was decided that a listening watch would commence at 0800 Local on Monday, and we would monitor the VE3FRG, VE3KBR and Watertown repeaters as well as the National Hurricane Center HF frequencies.
The storm watch net started on time and within an hour we were monitoring the repeaters and had set up a up a digital network with several local stations in case it was required.  We also monitored the weather radar service which kept us all very well informed throughout the day and evening. 

At 1037L an email was received from our County CEMC asking what contingency plans the team had in place for the storm.  Our EC responded to the email and laid out what we had done so far, and what the plans were for the rest of the storm period.
Starting at 1100L a full time watch was put on the National Hurricane Centre net on 7.268, and continued to do so until about 2100L.  The HF net on 7.268 was almost non-stop with stations checking in passing details of their current weather and personal situations.  Some of it was very hard to listen to, and it was equally hard to imagine what our fellow hams were going through down there.

The wind in Frontenac County did not pick up till mid-afternoon and it continued throughout most of the night.  Here in Kingston the biggest wind gust we saw was 86 kph.  Throughout the day and night we saw very little rain at all.

Eventually when we realized that it was not going to be as bad as first advertised by Environment Canada, we shut down the net at about 2359L.

Many thanks to VE3VJF, VE3SIW, VE3FCT, VE3GO, VE3DZE, VA3TBZ, VE3KFS, VE3GWS, VE3HGO, VE3ULC, VE3BLR, VE3MNE, VA3TIC, VE3HRW, VA3DAC, VE3MUD and VA3ORP, for taking the time to standby on frequency and being ready to help out if needed.

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