Local weather radio transmitter out of service

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was unable to replace the transmitter that provides updates to weather radios across Barry, Lawrence, McDonald and Newton counties.

A crew from Kansas City did not have the correct reading equipment to fix transmitter WNG608 on a Cassville radio tower, said Quay Kendrick, electronic systems analyst with the National Weather Service in Springfield. Kendrick said the workers went back home and are going to reschedule the repair with different gear.

"There were many high voltage lines real close to the tower," he said. "They have to hoist all of the equipment from inside the tower versus just dragging it up the side because if the wind caught it [and] wraps around some of those power lines, then we would have all kinds of problems."

The transmitter has been out of service since Jan. 15 because of antenna and coaxial problems, said Kendrick, who does not know when it will be replaced.

"Due to the increased cost, it is going to have to go to a contractor now," he said. "That's a whole another ball game as far as billing is concerned."

The 1,000-Watt transmitter has a frequency of 162.500 MHz. Vinita, Okla.-based KAMO Electric Cooperative owns the Cassville radio tower.

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office, according to the NOAA. NWR broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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