Selma lacking weather tower

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 24, 2002

Own a weather radio? Well, in Dallas County that may not mean very much right now.

The reason, says Brett Howard, Dallas County Emergency Management Agency director,

is that Dallas County does not have a weather tower.

According to Chris Bailey, meteorologist with WAKA television news, the nearest weather towers to Dallas County are located in Marengo and Montgomery counties, to the west and east of Dallas County respectively.

“The closest tower to Dallas County is located in Demopolis, which is in Marengo County,” Bailey said. Because of the distance of the two towers, said Bailey, some residents with weather radios in Dallas County may not be receiving any storms warnings.

Bailey added that other central Alabama counties, whose residents may not be receiving storm signals, include Autauga, Bibb, Lowndes, Perry, Wilcox, Chilton and Hale counties.

Howard said he met with Selma Mayor James Perkins on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of adding a new weather tower to Dallas County.

“The meeting went extremely well,” Howard said. “The mayor is 100 percent behind getting a new tower, provided we can obtain the funding.”

Although no official plans are currently in the works, Howard said the cost of installing a new tower would be approximately $100,000. He said the money could be obtained through a federal grant.

Bailey, who has met with Howard, said WAKA may be able to reduce the funding required considerably by donating an unused weather tower it has to Dallas County.

“If there is some kind of an agreement made, we will definitely consider giving the tower to Dallas County as an act of community service,” Bailey said. “Our main aim, right now, is to try and help the residents of Dallas County as much as we possibly can.”