The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

May 4, 2013

County first to warn of storms

DANVILLE — County emergency personnel are already monitoring severe weather situations long before local residents see flashes of lightning and hear rumbles of thunder in the sky.

Stormy weather — no matter the season — is among the ever prevalent threats that the Vermilion County Emergency Management Agency must monitor and be ready to react to at a moment’s notice.

According to EMA Director Ted Fisher, his office makes sure they have much more than a moment’s notice before a storm hits the 900-square-mile county.

“First off when we get the possibility of severe whether, we start looking at the timeline — when it’s going to hit and the duration of it,” he said. “We look at the severity of it, every possibility.”

For Vermilion County, Fisher said our biggest risks are ice storms, windstorms, tornadoes and floods.

Preparing for the worst weather sometimes turns into a group project. Depending on the severity of weather, Vermilion County will join in a conference call with other counties and meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Lincoln. Questions from both sides provide better insight to the storms marching across the state.

“Then going from that, we know when we need to show up at EMA to monitor at a closer pace,” Fisher said. “Then when it’s starting to approach the county, we get the spotters out.”

Visibility issues at night determine how many of the county’s weather spotters are sent out for any given storm.

Once storms cross county lines, Fisher said EMA is hit with an avalanche of information as it works to keep track of storms and the effects on several levels. In addition to reports from weather spotters out in the field, personnel will monitor damage reports, such as trees and utility lines down as well as power outages throughout the county.

While technology has been a boon in handling incoming severe weather, there is still the issue of having too much information.

“It’s a little easier on the forecast and the monitoring of the event,” Fisher said. “But it’s still difficult trying to get all these reports and digest it all at once when it happens.”

Being in a county that covers a lot of north-south area doesn’t help matters.

“You may have multiple fronts on storms at the same time since the county is so large,” Fisher added.

Since 1950, Vermilion County has confirmed 54 tornado reports. Of the past four years, 2009 and 2011 were the busiest with regard to wind, tornado, hail and flood damage incidents. Keeping track of weather situations can be a time-consuming task.

“Every day, you get in the habit of checking the weather,” he said. “Several times I’ve been home and the sun shining. Then I hear about storms over Homer and coming into the county.”

Fisher said it’s not unusual during storm season to put in a 12-hour shift between monitoring and reacting to severe weather as well as determining the resulting damage.

“Once we have those damage reports, the state wants the reports almost before it happens,” he said. “We have to send all that information to the state. They want two updates every day.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Hoopeston Area school staff to see insurance rates increase

    Hank Hornbeck, superintendent of Hoopeston Area schools, informed board members Thursday that staff health insurance rates would increase 5.99 percent from the previous year. Health insurance would remain with Health Alliance.

    April 18, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include: Danville Tuesday: Theft of $46.70 in gas from Circle K, 121 S. Gilbert St. Theft of a license plate sticker in the 900 block of Hubbard Lane. Wednesday: Possession of alcohol in a vehicle in the 2400 block of Ca

    April 18, 2014

  • translate4.jpg In translation DANVILLE — With the help of a Japanese exchange student, the Vermilion County War Museum staff has a better understanding of some of its items.

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Proposed school standards reviewed Proposed school standards reviewed The Associated Press

    April 18, 2014

  • Elementary students to tackle math problems DANVILLE -- First-graders from all eight of Danville's elementary schools will tackle story problems, progressive computation, multiplication, fractions and even algebra at the third annual Danville District 118 First-Grade Math Challenge next week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Arena sells autographed posters on eBay DANVILLE - Want a piece of history from the David S. Palmer Arena? Several autographed posters are up for eBay auction right now from artists who've performed through the years at the arena. There are posters signed by Jason Aldean, Rodney Carrington

    April 18, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls: Wednesday, 10:18-10:39 a.m. -- A false alarm at 1900 E. Main St. Wednesday, 12:02-12:14 p.m. -- A medical call in the 100 block of South Gilbert Street. Wednesday, 7:55-8:02 p.m. -- A medical call

    April 18, 2014

  • Bomberger, Ryan.jpg Women's clinic helps 'one child at a time' DANVILLE — Music, testimony and updates are on the agenda at the Women’s Care Clinic’s annual Banquet for Life fundraising dinner.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Night of Strings tonight

    April 17, 2014

  • Egg hunt set for Carver Park

    April 17, 2014

E-edition
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
NCAA basketball
NDN Video
The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1
Must Read