A transmitter in Aynor that alerts Horry County residents through weather radios when severe weather approaches was damaged recently by high winds and won’t be repaired in time for the summer storm season.
The National Weather Service is advising residents to sign up for Horry County’s CodeRED alert system online, and urging those without internet service to call 843-915-5390 to sign up for the free emergency system.
Residents who are registered with CodeRED will receive emergency weather notifications by telephone, email or texts when the National Weather Service issues severe thunderstorm, flash flood or tornado warnings.
The damage to the 800 foot antenna was recently discovered after the National Weather Service received complaints that the weekly test tones on weather radios were not being transmitted, said Steve Pfaff, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina.
“The last time the antenna was replaced was in 2002, being that far up it lasted a long time,” Pfaff said. “This is unfortunate, but it also shows us we always need more than one way of getting information.”
This will not affect emergency weather information delivered via television, only weather radios, which fishermen and boaters rely on to stay informed about sudden approaches of severe weather.
We are going to be missing it in severe weather season.
Steve Pfaff, National Weather Service
“It’s going to be important that boaters have a good clue about what the weather is doing before they go out and what the conditions are, but at least information can be relayed if they are within cell tower range,” Pfaff said.
The conservative time frame for the bidding, procurement process and work on the tower is six months, but Pfaff said they are hopeful it can be completed sooner.
“We are going to be missing it in severe weather season,” Pfaff said.