Clark County hoping to warn residents of severe weather threats - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Clark County hoping to warn residents of severe weather threats


Neillsville (WQOW) - Severe weather can come in many forms, and with spring on the horizon, officials in Clark County are hoping to help residents prepare for the worst. Next week marks Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. To go along with that, Clark County agencies launched a new initiative aimed at educating citizens on potential natural disasters.

Severe weather is already making its mark across the nation. Here in the Chippewa Valley, flooding is already causing a few problems, and more could be on the way.

"We could certainly shift from a very cool pattern to a very active pattern with severe weather, whether it's severe thunderstorms or tornadoes," said WQOW News 18 Meteorologist Nick Grunseth.

That's why Clark County Emergency Management launched H.E.L.P; a new initiative that stands for helping everyone learn preparedness.

"Whether it's flooding, heavy snow, winter weather, high heat like we experienced last summer, there are hazards out there. And we want to do our part to educate and inform the residents of Clark County to hopefully provide them with the tools to make them as ready as they can be," said John Ross, Clark County Emergency Management Director.

To do that, they'll use pamphlets on a display that will travel to local libraries and county buildings. They'll also be handing out weather radios to 150 homebound citizens.

"We hope to be able to provide this technology to have the radio in their places of residence and provide them with a warning tool in the event that there is a severe weather threat or some other hazard that needs to be alerted to the public quickly," Ross explained.

Money for the initiative will come from FEMA and a variety of organizations across the county who were affected by severe weather in the past.

"Having Clark County been impacted by flooding in the fall of 2010 and then a tornado in August of 2011, we realize that Clark County is susceptible to natural hazards and threats," said Ross.

The project will cost $33,000 dollars. FEMA will fund 75% of the initiative, while Wisconsin Emergency Management and Clark County cover the rest.

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