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NOAA weather radio was all wet, literally

West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) – As much serious trouble as Hurricane Michael caused in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, he was a mischievous kind of boy too. That was proven by a little trick he pulled on the folks in the Midlands that are tasked with reporting on what he was up to through the NOAA Weather Radio system.

The Ledger and a number of news sources reported Thursday that this very important radio system was out of service right in the thick of the storm. It is the one that sends out alerts to let us know about watches and warnings issued by the government’s weather geniuses when things are getting hairy. As Michael passed over during the night, he apparently dumped so much rain on the weather service’s building at the Columbia Airport near West Columbia that their roof sprung a leak. Not only did it leak, it leaked right on some of their very important computer equipment that helps them keep track of bad weather and the equipment that makes the weather radio system work.

Don't any of you go and blame the roof for this mess or the employees, managers, or maintenance staff at the CAE where the Weather Service's office is located. According to the staff of the NWS, we broke a daily record for rainfall here at the Columbia Metro Airport! 4.45" of rainfall crushed the old record of 1.67" set back in October 11, 1888. In spite of a tropical storm passage we were also only 2° away from the record high temperature of 91°!

Thankfully, they were able to depend on our local NWS counterparts in Greenville-Spartanburg for monitoring and the radio system was back up and working by afternoon; just about the time the sun began to shine. Poetic isn’t it? As for the roof, well don’t put the buckets and bins up until you call a pro to have a look. It’s supposed to be nice the next few days, but who knows when it could rain again? Oh right, that would be you guys!

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