Concerns rise about down weather transmitter

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — While severe weather is not expected in the Cape Fear any time soon, the NOAA weather transmitter in Winnabow is currently down. For some, that is an important tool to get vital weather warnings.

“I’m a New Hanover County senior citizen and my wife has a hearing handicap and obviously I’m her ears, so of course safety is very important,” Kings Grant resident Larry Smith said.

Smith doesn’t have a smart phone and says a weather radio is his main source to get warnings. He says broadcast has been down for about two weeks now. He said when he saw the severe weather ripping through the deep south this weekend, he wanted to be prepared for the possibility here.

“We were very fortunate yesterday that we did not get more severe weather than what we did,” Smith said.

The Winnabow transmitter covers Bladen, Brunswick, Pender, New Hanover, and Columbus counties. The National Weather Service says it could take weeks to months until it is back up.

Smith said until it is working again he plans to get information via TV, but there are still concerns.

“Local media that I can monitor it on but what if we lose power?” Smith said. “It leaves few alternatives.”

While it is not common, severe weather is always possible in southeastern North Carolina.

“We all remember the situation in Riegelwood about 10 years ago, so it can happen in our area,” Smith said.

He just hopes the transmitter can be fixed and back on-air as soon as possible.

“Literally could be the difference between life or death,” Smith said.

We spoke with the National Weather Service Monday and they hope to have more information on the timeline Tuesday. We will bring you more information when it comes available.

You can stay alert with the latest weather by the StormTrack3 Weather app.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, Weather

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