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Kaycee NOAA Weather Radio Dedicated

National Weather Service Riverton officials gathered alongside Representative Barbara Cubin and Senator Craig Thomas in Kaycee, Wyoming on Saturday,
August 23 to dedicate a new NOAA Weather Radio transmitter.  The new transmitter operates on a frequency of 162.550 MHz and serves southern Johnson county, Wyoming.  The new transmitter was made possible by Federal funding requested by Representative Cubin, Senator Thomas, and Senator Mike Enzi.  The ceremony nearly coincided with the one year anniversary of a devastating flash flood that affected the town of Kaycee on August 27, 2002.

Chris Jones, far right, NWS Riverton Warning Coordination Meteorologist, addresses the crowd at the Kaycee Visitor's Center.
-Photo courtesy of Robert Hendricks / Casper Star-Tribune-

Wilhemina Armstrong, president of the Kaycee Chamber of Commerce, led off the ceremony by greeting the crowd of well over 100 people.  Armstrong and the rest of the Chamber were instrumental in orchestrating the event, along with officials from the NWS in Riverton.  Chris Jones, Warning Coordination Meteorologist from the NWS in Riverton, followed Armstrong and provided an overview of the new NOAA Weather Radio transmitter and what it means for the people of Kaycee and southern Johnson county.  Jones told the crowd of the all hazards capability of the warning system.  

NWS Riverton Service Hydrologist Melissa Smith presented six NOAA Weather Radio receivers to Kaycee High School, Kaycee Town Hall, Kaycee Police Department, Powder River Fire District, Johnson County deputy sheriff, and the Kaycee Chamber of Commerce Visitor's Center.  Representatives of each entity were in attendance to accept the donated NOAA Weather Radios.  Three NOAA Weather Radios were generously provided by Mike Hammer of Hammer Electronics and Radio Shack of Riverton, and the other three courtesy of Johnson County Emergency Management.

Following the distribution of the six receivers, Meteorologist in Charge Joe Sullivan introduced the Keynote Speakers for the event.  Representative Barbara Cubin emphasized the importance of the NOAA Weather Radio network in Wyoming and  provided information to the crowd as to what is being done to ensure small communities receive assistance following disasters.  Robin Bailey, State Director for Senator Mike Enzi, read a letter from the Senator, who was on a fact-finding trip to Africa.  Senator Enzi wrote, "Although we can't change the weather we can ensure we're better prepared for it.  That is why it is so important for us to put these weather stations in place.  They literally save lives and increase our ability to protect our property."  Senator Craig Thomas spoke last and remarked on how well Kaycee has recovered from the devastating flash flood.  He also spoke of the important partnerships that made the installation of the Kaycee transmitter possible.

Representative Barbara Cubin emphasized the importance of NOAA Weather Radio.
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Senator Craig Thomas told the crowd he was pleased to see how Kaycee has recovered.
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Robin Bailey, State Director for Senator
 Mike Enzi, reads a congratulatory letter
from the Senator.
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Wilhelmina Armstrong, left, president of the Kaycee Chamber of Commerce, poses with
Representative Cubin and Senator Thomas.

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The event concluded with an open time for questions about NOAA Weather Radio and the role it plays in public safety.  A display of several different types of NOAA Weather Radio receivers generated much interest among those present.  Jones said that he received more than one comment from citizens who were going to buy a receiver and place it in their home.  Greg Ryan and members of his Ryan Electronics staff from Saratoga, Wyoming gave tours of the new transmitter facility to Representative Cubin and other members of the community.  The efforts of Ryan and Jerry Finke of NWS Central Region Headquarters were vital to the installation of the new transmitter. 

Chris Jones, right, NWS Riverton
Warning Coordination Meteorologist, shakes hands with Tony Armstrong of Kaycee while discussing
NOAA Weather Radio receivers.

The dedication ceremony was held in conjunction with the Inaugural Kaycee Flood Fest, presented by the Kaycee Area Chamber of Commerce, town of Kaycee, Kaycee Foundation, and the Southern Johnson County Planning Committee.  The flood fest was Kaycee's way to celebrate its resiliency and to thank other Wyoming individuals and agencies for their help during the flood recovery.  Following the dedication ceremony all participants along with other visitors and locals gathered in the town park for a free pork bar-b-que and live music.  The entire day was another example of the collaborative and resilient attitude pervasive throughout Wyoming.

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