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December 1, 2015 • Headline News
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We are ‘StormReady’
County first to get NWS designation

Ripley County will soon be Southeast Indiana’s first “StormReady” county. The designation came from the National Weather Service Nov. 23, and the county will be the first in the Wilmington, Ohio office coverage area to earn the designation. That doesn’t mean we are “storm proof”, Patrick Rose, the county’s EMA director said. But there are benefits to the county for the designation and for being prepared.

“It helps me as a Emergency Management Director build and review our plans. This process also helps to identify needs in developing an improvement plan and to prioritizing future funding,” Rose said. He also said achieving this can reduce the Insurance Service Office (ISO) rates. This is the standard that evaluates Fire Department and effects homeowner insurance rates. Rose added that he’s researching if the status can mean a reduction of flood insurance rates.

A presentation for the StormReady Community honor is scheduled for Monday, December 7 at 11 a.m. at the Ripley County Courthouse Annex in Versailles. At that time a Storm Ready road sign will be presented. It’s just in time for winter weather. According to Rich Corkhum, county deputy EMA director, the county snowfall amount from Nov. 1, 2014 to April 2015 was between 22 and 29 inches. He noted that the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky airport, where weather is tracked for NWS, had 29.9 inches; however, the most severe weather for Ripley County actually occurs between April and August. The most common severe storm hazard is from straight line winds. Supercells, that can produce large hail and tornadoes, are most common spring to early summer. Corkhum noted, “In the National Weather Service Wilmington, OH area, severe weather has been reported in each month of the year!” According to the NWS, Americans live in the most severe weather-prone country on Earth. Each year, Americans cope with an average of 100,000 thunderstorms, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods or flash floods, 1,000 tornadoes, and two landfalling deadly hurricanes.

Reminder about travel advisories

The Ripley County Commissioners follow the Indiana Department of Homeland Security in issuing travel advisories. The travel advisory categories are listed below.

Advisory (Yellow): Routine travel or activities may be restricted in some places if there is a hazardous situation, and caution should be exercised in those areas. Schools and businesses may begin to implement their emergency action plans.

Watch (Orange): Conditions threaten public safety, so only essential travel, such as for work or emergencies, is recommended. Emergency action plans should be activated by schools, government agencies, businesses and other organizations.

Warning (Red): Travel may be restricted to emergency workers only. Citizens are directed to refrain from all travel, comply with necessary emergency measures, cooperate with public officials and disaster service forces in executing emergency plans, and comply with the directions of properly identified officers.

The current travel advisory map can be found at The commissioners, with input from the sheriff’s office, may issue the travel advisory and they can also cancel it.

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