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WARC Responds to Flood, Marv Hoffman, WA4NC reports:
Six inches of rain, falling at times at the rate of 1.5 inches per hour, caused a lot of disruption yesterday (Monday, October 23) in the High Country.
Numerous cars were stranded and approximately 80 apartments/condos as well as some businesses had water in their buildings. Some roads were blocked with mudslides and washouts but fortunately no lives were lost and no injuries were reported. At approximately 6 pm., Watauga ARES/Auxcomm was asked by EM to support shelter operations last night We assisted the Red Cross shelter staff (Vickie Hawkins and Daisy Waryold). Although the shelter at Alliance received two persons who spent the night we were ready to accept up to 100 evacuees.
Thanks go out to Marvin Gragg KM4NCK and Jack Bechtel KB4JEB who spent the night at the shelter and brought their go boxes to provide comms from the shelter. We had 2 meter (Rich), 440 (Beech) and DMR capabilities deployed for use.Thanks also go out to Scott Douglass K2SD For acting as SKYWARN Net Control during the heavy rains and for handling traffic from Steve Marks N4SCM, Steve Baublitz W9SLB, Marvin Gragg KM4NCK, Tim Harmon, KE4KFV and myself
Area affected were downtown Boone, NC194 at Perkinsville near Hardin Park Elementary School , US321 near the Boone Mall and Walmart, as well as NC105 near Ross Jeep Chrysler and US321 near Blowing Rock all of which had high water and most of which were closed for a period of time to prevent additional persons becoming stranded
We were fortunate to have relatively few power outages. Blue Ridge Energy’s web-page showed at 11 a.m. Tuesday that there were still 2200 outages in Alleghany County, Caldwell had 665 customers without power, Alexander had 155 and Wilkes had 75 Blue Ridge customers out
Duke Energy is reporting 77,000 customers without power, 24,000 in Wilkes, 17,000 in Catawba, 4100 in Alexander County, 1800 in Caldwell and 5000 in Burke County.
An interesting video was forwarded to me by George Bartholomew, which was prepared by Nelson Aerial Videos using a drone to capture images of the flooded areas in Boone. Go to:https://youtu.be/vxHcjAnX2IQ
John W. Dinkins, WA4J, was a founder and past President of the Watauga Amateur Radio Club. He passed away after a series of illnesses on August 4, 2018.
Here is a eulogy given by WA4NC at John’s funeral in Boone.
John W. Dinkins was my friend, just as he was to so many others here today. I first met John over 45 years ago at the University where he worked in the News Bureau and later in Media Services. My friendship with John grew over the years and I came to know John best through our shared interest in amateur radio. Reflecting on John’s life I can share many things about him but I suspect that much of what I could say is already known to those who are assembled here today to celebrate his life.John was an inquisitive person. He enjoyed learning about new things and seeing new places. Traveling on ASU Alumni trips and being with old friends meant a great deal to him. His annual trip to the coast for a Lions’ sponsored fishing trip gave him great joy. Those of us in the ham radio club know how much he looked forward to that trip and how important it was for him to be able to talk to those of us here in Boone so he could share news about his ventures out on the coast.Ham radio operators go to events called Hamfests, a sort of large scale flea market for radio equipment. A dear friend, Bill Lundy, NC4BL, from Mount Airy, arranged a bus trip each year during May for a group to go to the largest hamfest in America in Dayton, Ohio. John made that bus trip fifteen times and derived great joy out of being able to see the latest in ham radio gear. More important to him, though, were the friendships that developed over the years traveling on the bus to and from Dayton as well as to other ham radio events.John’s friendships sometimes involved people he never met. A group of ham radio operators meet on the air each morning at 7:00 a.m. and talk about whatever interests them that day. John was an avid participant in that 7 a.m. network that linked operators across the state. Among his friends who celebrate him today are some for whom John was just a friendly voice on the radio.John had a great interest in photography but he was not stuck in the past. After shooting thousands of rolls of film he got a digital camera and mastered that new technology. In the same way, when we put up a digital radio repeater with the latest technology John was one of the first to get a digital portable radio. He loved the fact that he could use his portable radios to talk to old friends locally and across North Carolina.John became an expert in most everything he did. John was a teacher and shared his knowledge with others. I have heard from dozens of friends who said that it was because of the enthusiasm John showed that they got into photography or amateur radio through a class or talk John offered sometime in the past. People knew that they could turn to John for advice on cameras, on how to operate properly or how to connect a computer to a radio to send photos and text messages. I could say more about John and his hobbies but this is the most important thing I can say about John:John was faithful, faithful to his family, faithful to his friends and faithful to his church. He loved Boone, he loved his friends, he loved Appalachian and he loved his very deep North Carolina roots. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. We cherish the time we had with John. It is a privilege for many of us to say that John was a true friend. I will close now. In behalf of John’s many ham radio friends, I say “73 John, till we talk again.”