Edgewood, IA

Community Visited: 8/8/03
Community Recognized: 11/10/03 (See below)

On Friday August 8th, a site verification visit was made to Edgewood, Iowa, a community applying to become 'StormReady' for NWS La Crosse.

Verification team members included:

  • Steve Braun, Grant County WI Emergency Management
  • Ray Huftalin, Mitchell County IA Emergency Management
  • Todd Shea, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, NWS La Crosse

Community Information

Edgewood, IA is on the Clayton-Delaware County line in northeast Iowa. Because they are on the county line, they work closely with both counties. Population is 923.

Main contact is Paul Chopard, Civil Defense Director and Edgewood Fireman. Cindy Vorwald also assisted with the application process.

24 Hour Warning Point

Contact point for the community is Edgewood Fire Department. Firemen have radio contact with both Delaware and Clayton Counties, including pagers.

At the fire station, here are the methods NWS Information is monitored:

  • NOAA Weather Radio (good signal off transmitter near Dubuque)
  • 2m Amateur Radio (can reach numerous repeaters in region, including Mt.Sterling, WI that NWS La Crosse can hit)
  • Pagers from Clayton and/or Delaware County Sheriff Dept.
  • VHF Radio with Sheriff Depts.
  • Television
  • Internet
For a community this size, only three (3) are required. Since one of their firemen has an amateur radio license, we should be able to talk directly with Edgewood FD. Paul C. is also applying for his amateur radio license.

A mobile command truck also has much of the same equipment. The fire station has ordered a backup generator but could also rely on the mobile command truck if power at the station is loss.

Hydro-Meteorological Monitoring

There are three Davis weather stations in Edgewood. One is at the fire station where rainfall and peak wind gusts are recorded. One station is at Paul's home. The last unit is on the mobile command truck. Rainfall amounts are closely tracked and reported to NWS La Crosse.

For a community this size, only one (1) is required.

Local Warning Dissemination

Edgewood has two outdoor warning sirens, one on the north side of town, and the other on the south. Both are new sirens with battery backup power and can be activated from the fire station, or via any radio, including hand-held models or via one of the trucks.

Normally activated locally, Edgewood is working with the Clayton County Sheriff Dept. so they can activate the sirens in Edgewood remotely if needed.

The north siren covers a trailer company, industry area, and football field, while the south siren reaches the golf course. Plans for a third siren on the far south side of town have also been discussed.

Sirens are activated for any Tornado Warning and/or anytime a tornado, funnel cloud, or rotation is sighted nearby. Testing procedures and descriptions of the wail patterns used are well advertised to the community via local newspaper.

For a community this size, only one (1) method is required.

Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

An EOC is not needed for a community this size, although one can be established at the fire station or via the mobile command truck.
NOAA Weather Radio Use

NOAA Weather Radios are located in all public buildings, including City Hall (clerks office), public library, school, daycares, nursing home, doctors office, elderly housing complex, among other larger businesses. The local community has purchased most if not all of these radios to ensure their use and coverage.

We checked radios at City Hall, the fire station, and at the library. They all worked.


Severe weather safety rules were included in the Edgewood Reminder on 3/18/03 and drills are conducted through the schools for the statewide Tornado drill.

Testing of the outdoor warning sirens are conducted on the last Saturday of each month.

Completion of Disaster Resistant Community through Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning was completed in December 2001.

Hazardous Material Operations Level drill was held in January 2003.


Edgewood has a very detailed Hazardous Weather Operations Plan. Instances of "storm watch" are tracked and the fire department routinely attends spotter training. SKYWARN Training is scheduled in Edgewood in March 2004. Local spotters have done an increasingly better job of keeping in contact with NWS La Crosse. We've received numerous reports from the area during the 2003 season.

The NWS visited Edgewood on 8/8/03, but officials from Edgewood have not visited NWS La Crosse. A group from Edgewood hope to visit NWS La Crosse later this summer or into the fall.

Recognition Ceremony

A short ceremony was held on Monday, November 10, 2003 with the Edgewood City Council and Edgewood Fire Department. These photos are from the ceremony. Click on them for a larger image.

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