CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – The Champaign NOAA Weather Radio WXJ-76 remains offline and won’t be repaired in time for storms this week.
The National Weather Service Office in Lincoln says that the antenna and cabling was damaged during a high wind event in mid-February.
The damage was severe enough that a work-order had to be be created for contractors to ascend the tower to make repairs.
The NOAA Weather Radio Antenna sits on the WCIA-3 Transmitter tower in Seymour after being offline for two years.
WCIA 3 News leases that space on our tower to the National Weather Service, who is responsible for making repairs and keeping up that antenna.
The tower climbers have been scheduled to make repairs, but are at the mercy of rain, wind and other weather conditions that prevent them from getting things done.
The National Weather Service says that they hope repairs will be completed by the end of April. We will update you when that happens.
Using alternate NOAA weather signals for your NOAA Weather Radio:
In the meantime, residents in certain areas should switch their weather radios to a new channel in order to receive weather alerts.
Champaign County: No alternate transmitters/channels are available. Warnings for Champaign County are being routed onto WXJ-75 in Springfield (162.400 MHz, Channel 1), but the signal is likely not strong enough to broadcast into the county.
Coles County: KXI-47 in Paris (162.525 MHz, channel 6)
De Witt County: WXJ-75 in Springfield (162.400 MHz, channel 1), or KZZ-65 in Bloomington (162.525 MHz, channel 6)
Douglas County: KXI-47 in Paris (162.525 MHz, channel 6)
Edgar County: KXI-47 in Paris (162.525 MHz, channel 6)
Ford County: WXK-24 in Odell (162.450 MHz)
Moultrie County: KXI-46 in Shelbyville (162.500 MHz, channel 5)
Piatt County: No alternate transmitters/channels are available. Warnings for Champaign County are being routed onto WXJ-75 in Springfield (162.400 MHz, Channel 1), but the signal is likely not strong enough to broadcast into the county. The best chance for receiving this signal is in the western part of the county.
Vermilion County: KXI-86 in Crescent City (162.500 MHz, channel 5) for hte north half of the county, KZZ-27 in Newport, IN (162.425 MHz, channel 2) for the south half of the county.
How else to stay connected:
We encourage everyone to have at least two ways to receive weather alerts. That way, if one method fails (as is the case with WXJ-75 in Champaign), you’ll have another way to get an alert and can seek out more information.
Downloading the WCIA 3 Weather App for your phone is a great way to stay connected. You can download it on Apple and Android Devices. In addition, you can watch WCIA on TV over the air and on select providers.
You also can listen on the radio and use Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on your phone to stay connected.
“Tornado” sirens are not reliable ways to get weather alerts, but if you do hear one, consider it’s meaning that you should get more information. In addition, they are meant to be heard outside.
You also should not rely for consistent weather information immediately on Social Media, but when severe weather threatens we do broadcast our severe weather stream on Facebook and Twitter, as well as through the WCIA 3 Weather App.
Read more on the latest for storms on the WCIA 3 Weather Now Article and stay connected on the WCIA 3 Severe Weather Center.