On Wednesday, September 10, 2008, Vincennes, Indiana Cooperative Observers Sam and Alan Sievers received the United States Department of Commerce (DOC) Public Service Award.
The Award is given to individuals or organizations who have assisted branches of the DOC, in this case the National Weather Service (NWS), in fulfilling their responsibility for public safety in weather services.
During early June 2008, a record river flood developed along portions of the Wabash River in southwest Indiana as a result of excessive rainfall over central Indiana. The magnitude and extent of destruction during this great flood is among the worst in Indiana history.
During the recent flood the Sievers brothers served the NWS and residents of Vincennes and Knox County in an exceptional way. Using their insight and knowledge about the Vincennes flood wall and flood protection, they maintained a nearly continuous watch providing timely river and weather observations. They also provided numerous photographs and additional flood information not only to the NWS but for numerous web sites insuring those directly affected by the flood had access to this vital information.
At the award ceremony, held near the Memorial Bridge in Vincennes, Alan Sievers noted that in the 12 years that the brothers have been in the Cooperative Weather Program, he has logged over 2500 miles traveling to and from the bridge to take river level readings.
The Sievers' actions during this great flood provided crucial information that assisted the NWS in issuing flood warnings and statements, helping to save lives and property. Their extra efforts during this flood were well above and beyond what is expected of Cooperative Weather Observers, and the dedication they displayed showed a high level of citizen volunteer spirit, which is richly deserving of special recognition.