SEYMOUR, Ill. (WCIA) – The NOAA Weather Radio that has been offline for over a year in Champaign County is one step closer to being back online.
The National Weather Service announced on Friday that the structural analysis for our WCIA 3 Tower has been completed, and the tower is acceptable to support NOAA Weather Radio Equipment.
Our Tower is the new host for the NOAA Weather Radio Antenna after it was decommissioned from a different, unrelated tower. The previous tower site had repeated service issues, and then the lease was canceled by the previous owner. It has been offline since February 13, 2020.
The next step in the process is the installation of the new Antenna on our tower. The National Weather Service Office in Lincoln says that tower climbers will be scheduled to install the antenna and coaxial cable soon.
Once the installation is complete, electronics technicians will travel to the tower and install the transmitter and make connections with the antenna. Testing of the data lines and broadcast strength will be done.
While no official date has been announce, NWS Lincoln says the goal is to have it back on the air for consumer use by June 1st. That will depend on a number of factors, including availability of certified tower climbers, windy or stormy weather or other issues.
An update from officials can be expected as early as Mid-May on the process. It seems as if the long awaited return of the radio is nearly here. Before long, it will be fully functional and operational, broadcasting alerts to residents in Central Illinois.
MONDAY SEVERE THREAT: BE PREPARED NOW
Given the threat for Severe Weather Monday, and the outage expected to continue for a few more weeks, it’s important you have several ways to get weather alerts. We encourage at least two ways. Make sure you have a severe weather preparedness plan in place and are ready as severe weather season hits its peak during the month of May.