Stoddard Co., Mo. EMA upgrades storm tracker system

Stoddard County EMA Director Andrew Bohnert installs new weatherproof technology.
Stoddard County EMA Director Andrew Bohnert installs new weatherproof technology.(KFVS)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:27 PM CDT
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DEXTER, Mo. (KFVS) - The Stoddard County Emergency Management Agency is making advancements in its storm tracking technology.

The changes will help the EMA track storms better in the long run.

”The features that we currently use from this system have been extremely beneficial to us,” Andrew Bohnert said.

Stoddard County Emergency Management Director Andrew Bohnert is talking about the county’s new weather system, radar omega.

After installing it in April, he said some things need to be fixed.

“We did have a few severe thunderstorms back in May which knocked out a couple of our stations and also the late season ice storm back in early April also knocked down a couple of the sites as well,” Bohnert said.

That’s why Radar Omega is back in the county to make the cameras and electrical components more durable and water proof.

”That was one of the biggest issues we saw with the cameras is water was getting in and frying out the electrical components inside,” Don Murray said.

Lead meteorologist and developer Don Murray said Stoddard County is the only Emergency Management Agency currently testing out the system, so it’s a learning process.

“We’re just putting those procedures in place now really beefing up the system so that way the next severe weather that rolls through, they’ll stay online and be operational for emergency management here in Stoddard County,” Murray said.

Seven cameras were installed throughout the county. Bohnert has the ability to turn the cameras around 360 degrees to get a good view of incoming storms.

“Of course, we had the Dexter tornado come through here and we were using radar omega products extensively as we were tracking the storm coming in and it definitely helped us in our response to that event,” he said.

Radar Omega and the Stoddard County EMA will continue to work together in the next few months to make any necessary repairs or upgrades.

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