Blackwell recognized as StormReady

by Charles Gerian

The National Weather Service out of Norman, Oklahoma has officially recognized Blackwell as a “StormReady” community.

According to a press release sent by the awarding organization, the StormReady award indicates that a community “has taken the extra steps to handle weather emergencies.”

“The citizens and the leadership of Blackwell should be very proud of this accomplishment. This StormReady recognition indicates that Blackwell has taken the extra steps to be ready to handle weather emergencies,” wrote Richard Smith, a warning coordination meteorologist for the NWS.

The recognition is valid until April 5, 2021 and allows Blackwell's Severe Weather Operations Department to use the official StormReady logo in letterheads, brochures, signs, and other documents. In Oklahoma, a total of 102 entities have received the recognition. They include 31 counties, 59 communities, one Indian nation, 11 universities, one commercial site, and other 15 supporters of the program. Blackwell joins Newkirk and Ponca City in having received the recognition.

In other severe weather-related news, the SWOD began testing the city's storm sirens last month in preparation for storm season. 

“We currently have nine spotters,” said Brian Muret, director of SWOD. “Myself, Kevin Zimmerschied, Lonnie McCoulloch, Ken Taylor, Bill Merchant, Darrel Grossardt, Billie Phillips, Nelda Shipman, and Brett Shipman. All of us are committed to keeping Blackwell and Kay County residents informed and safe during severe weather incidents.”