There are changes ahead for the weather warning system in South Dakota and
the state's ability to react to an emergency.
Just before the tornado hit Spencer, the
warning siren was silenced when power to the community was cut.
Efforts started in a few weeks after the
storm at the federal level to fund a weather radio network to cover much of South Dakota's
Scanlan and Paulett Cott - 3:51 "Rapid City is the only community in the state
with backup power for it's warning system. Senator Tim Johnson says NOAA weather radio can
be the most effective warning system, but only a few larger communities have the system. A
1994 plan to expand the system has been revived."
During his visit to Spencer in May 1999,
Governor Janklow said progress is being made on the NOAA warning system.
The state's ability to react to an emergency
is also changing.
Janklow - 2:52 "Our biggest problem was communications and we've already moved to
fix it. We also have problems with 9-1-1 in South Dakota. There was no way for all the
people involved in the first hours after the storm to talk to each other. We had more
radio systems than they have ethnic groups in Yugoslavia. We also needed more lights and
we will soon have enough emergency lights to light an entire community."
Janklow - 1:23 "We've inventoried every piece of heavy equipment the state owns
to we can call upon them in a moments notice.
Some of the Spencer residents have learned
how much closer they are to each other and that they need to look out for one another.
And the Governor says his lasting image of
the event was of the spirit of the people in South Dakota.
Some residents learned that they did not
have enough insurance. Others learned that they couldn't live anywhere else and are
determined to rebuild the town that they call home.
Meet Joshua Wurman, a storm chaser that studied
and witnessed the storm.
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