Florence's fierce winds knock out all NOAA Weather Radio transmitters in eastern North Carolina

September 14, 2018, 4:59:19 PM EDT

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports outages all of their Weather Radio transmitters in eastern North Carolina amid the height of Florence's rampage along the coast.

The National Weather Service (NWS) Newport/Morehead City, North Carolina, reported the following at 9:47 a.m. EDT, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018:

"All NOAA weather radio (NWR) transmitters in eastern North Carolina supported by National Weather Service (NWS) Morehead City are down. Winds from Hurricane Florence have disrupted service for the following NWR Transmitter Sites:

KXI95 in Warsaw in Duplin County
KIG77 in Cape Hatteras on the Outer Banks
KEC84 in New Bern in Craven County
WWH26 in Maimee in Currituck County

Given the life-threatening weather risks across the region, listeners are encouraged to monitor surrounding NWR broadcasts if available by changing your radio frequency. Users should also set their individual cell phones for weather emergency alerts.

If power and internet access are still available in your area, you can find information on setting cell phone alerts at www.weather.gov/wrn/wea. Additional and more detailed information is available on www.weather.gov/mhx. Please follow @NWSMoreheadCity on twitter and facebook and share any storm reports."

The National Weather Service offered additional advice for staying safe and connected during Florence's onslaught.

"Given the life-threatening weather risks across the region, NOAA Weather Radio listeners in these areas are encouraged to monitor surrounding NWR broadcasts if available by changing their radio frequency. They should also check their cell phone settings to ensure they have Wireless Emergency Alerts enabled. They can also follow their local forecast office at weather.gov, on Twitter and Facebook, in addition to tuning in to their favorite weather news sources and apps," Susan Buchanan, director of National Weather Service public affairs, told AccuWeather.

"Weather Radios are generally very reliable, with an average availability nationwide of 99%. In rare cases of extreme weather events with heavy wind and flooding as we're seeing with Florence, the technology can be impacted. In this case, we aren't yet certain if the transmitters themselves have sustained damage from the wind, or if there has been a break in the ground wires due to flooding. We will assess and make the repairs as soon as it's safe to do so," Buchanan said, adding that damage repairs will also take place as soon as it's safe for work to take place.

To stay up-to-date on the latest from dangerous Florence, download the free AccuWeather app and check back frequently with AccuWeather.com.

Verizon is among providers helping to ensure network coverage remains an option for people to communicate with loved ones and emergency contacts and check for updates on crucial weather alerts and forecast information.

Verizon sent the following statement to AccuWeather: "With Hurricane Florence hanging over the Carolinas, Verizon’s network continues to withstand the severity of the storm’s impact. As anticipated, floodwaters and strong winds are impacting the area and commercial power is out throughout much of the Carolinas, but back-up generators are running where needed and we are on standby to refuel generators to ensure facilities continue operating as soon as the storm rolls through. Our network teams are staffing the 24x7 wireless command centers in hardened facilities throughout the impacted area that can withstand category five winds. They are assessing damage and preparing to mobilize equipment and people needed for repairs when safe to do so. We are in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and are coordinating communication needs and efforts with them.

To further support the community, Verizon is offering support to impacted residents by providing free calling, texting and data to our postpaid and prepaid customers who reside in the areas of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia that are in the direct path of the storm, beginning Friday, Sept. 14 and running through Monday, Sept. 17, and has also committed to $1 million grant to the American Red Cross to assist in relief efforts. Additionally, between Sept. 12, 2018 and Sept. 28, 2018, the Verizon Foundation will match all U.S.-based Verizon employees' donations of $25 or more made via the Verizon Foundation matching gift webpage, up to $1,000 per employee, to the American Red Cross.

Once the storm has passed, Verizon is ready to deploy our Wireless Emergency Communication Centers which are generator-powered mobile units on tractor trailers that have device charging and computer workstations, and wireless phones, tablets and other devices to contact friends, family and other important contacts over the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network."

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