SEYMOUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The antenna that provides the weather radio signal for Champaign County is located on the WCIA 3 tower. The National Weather Service is in charge of maintaining and fixing any issues but knowing what is wrong can be difficult to diagnose because the antenna is located about 650 feet up.
A high wind event over a month ago knocked out the weather radio signal for some reason, but the weather service didn’t know why until today.
Enter a drone from Ameren Illinois. They volunteered to come over and fly their drone up the tower and do an inspection with a nice zoom lens.
Mark Stacy from the National Weather Service in Lincoln is hoping that zoom lens on this drone identifies the issue.
The information they learned today will help them figure out the problem and expedite the fix.
Paul Stegmaier is the pilot from Ameren Illinois tasked with doing the inspection.
They found multiple spots where the antenna cable was snapped.
Now these breaks in the cable will need to be fixed by a tower crew but the tower crews are booked up solid right now so the timing of when someone is going to be available to complete this is still up in the air but they at least know the source of the problem.
It’s important to have other ways to get warnings because we will have several chances for severe weather in the coming weeks.