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Lightning From Thunder Snow Affects Emergency Communications

February 21st, 2019 by WCBC Radio

Wednesday’s snow, mixed precipitation and thundersnow hampered radio communications for a short period, however the county experienced no other major incidents or injuries. 


“During the thundersnow event Wednesday morning our radio towers on Big Savage and Dans Rock were struck by lightning,” Emergency Services Deputy Director Roger Bennett said. “Our radio service was diminished for approximately 1-hour. We also had county radio maintenance technicians check our Warrior Mountain tower.”

The weather also caused the Allegany County Joint Communications Center, a hub to connect field EMS units with area hospitals, to temporary lose that ability.

“We had our medical consult channels back up and on-line quickly,” Bennett added.

At no point was 911 service interrupted and the communications center processed and dispatched calls as per protocol, Bennett said.

“At various times throughout the day we had reports of stranded vehicles and property damage accidents, but no serious injuries or incidents were reported,” Todd Bowman, public information officer for Allegany County Department of Emergency Services said. 

The National Weather Service issued winter storm warning expired at 1 a.m., according to Bowman. 

We will continue to work with local municipalities, county departments and other agencies through the coming days to ensure our service delivery remains seamless, Bowman said. 


Various snow totals have been reported from Westernport to Little Orleans, officials want to remind citizens that as you venture out Thursday morning to remain vigilant of slippery conditions and allow extra time. 

“We are expecting travel delays and slippery road conditions, especially side and untreated surfaces,” Bowman said. “Please gives yourself extra time today during your commutes.” 

If you are digging your way out of the snow, take frequent breaks, wear warm, dry clothes and stay hydrated. 

“The snow is going to be heavy and wet,” Bowman said. “Citizens with pre-existing medical conditions should pay extra attention and rest frequently.” 

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