Magoffin County Officials Hardin and Wilson Named NOAA StormReady Heroes
NOAA has honored Magoffin County Judge Executive Charles “Doc” Hardin and Emergency Management Director Mike Wilson with the StormReady® Community Hero award for their efforts to save lives during a tornado that hit Salyersville on March 2, 2012. Officials with NOAA’s National Weather Service office in Jackson, Ky., presented the award to Hardin and Wilson on February 5, 2013, at a specially called Fiscal Court meeting at the Magoffin County Courthouse in Salyersville.
Picture (Left to Right): NWS Jackson, KY Meteorologist-in-Charge Shawn Harley, Magoffin County Judge Executive Charles "Doc" Hardin, Magoffin County Emergency Management Director Mike Wilson, NWS Jackson, KY Warning Coordination Meteorologist Tony Edwards
The award recognizes individuals within a StormReady community who have gone above and beyond protocol to save lives and property. Hardin is being recognized for his efforts to deliver warnings of the approaching tornado along busy Highway 460. Wilson is being recognized for his supervision of emergency personnel during the tornado. Coordination of information between the two officials is credited for directly saving at least 50 people from injury and possible death.
Eighteen tornadoes touched down in Kentucky on March 2, 2012, killing 24 people and injuring more than 200. One of the strongest and longest-tracked tornadoes on that day slammed into the community of Salyersville in Magoffin County. The EF-3 tornado, packing winds of up to 160 mph, tore a path up to three-fourths of a mile wide through the town and across the county. Thanks to actions by Hardin and Wilson, there were no fatalities and only 30 injuries from the massive tornado.
Shawn Harley, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service’s forecast office in Jackson, presented the awards today. Harley worked with county and state officials to qualify Magoffin County as StormReady in December 2005,
“We feel great compassion for all the people of eastern Kentucky who lost homes to the destructive tornadoes of March 2, 2012,” Harley said. “Yet, the devastation could have been much worse if not for the prompt and heroic action of Doc Hardin and Mike Wilson, who undoubtedly saved lives that day. These people are the epitome of StormReady Community Heroes.”
The nationwide community preparedness program, founded in 1999, is a grassroots approach to preparing for natural hazards. Today, more than 1,900 U.S. communities, including 55 in Ky., are better prepared for severe weather through the StormReady program. The program helps community leaders strengthen their hazardous weather operations by improving communication systems and through public education.
NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA’s National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. Working with partners, the National Weather Service is building a Weather-Ready Nation to support community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather. Visit us online at weather.gov and on Facebook.
More information on the National Weather Service StormReady® program can be found at http://www.stormready.noaa.gov.
Past StormReady® Community Hero Award Recipients: