DURANT, Okla. – Bryan County officials are taking steps to prepare all of Texoma for severe weather. Commissioners are asking U.S. Congressman Dan Boren for federal funds to buy a Doppler radar that would be placed in Bryan County.
When severe weather strikes everyone wants to be prepared. Now Bryan County officials are hoping a Doppler radar will help this entire region.
"It kind of makes me cringe this time of year, as you know severe weather tornadoes can happen anytime of year," Bryan County Emergency management director James Dalton says.
Bryan County Emergency Management director James Dalton wants to know when storms are happening and their severity-- all the time.
"We’re seeing nothing below ten thousand feet. Everything we see it that level upward into the clouds."
The national weather service operates several Dopplers in the southwest, but looking at the map, it's as simple as connecting the dots. There's a big hole in the Southern Oklahoma-North Texas region.
"We’re having to depend on the eye of our spotters in the field, and especially at night that's a risky proposition for everybody,” Dalton says.
County commissioners drafted a resolution to give to Representative Dan Boren, asking for federal funds to pay for a Doppler radar.
The county already owns land, and a tower, in the northeastern part of Bryan County, an unobstructed area for the radar to scan.
"Something could happen to us real quick without the knowledge that it's fixing to happen,” Bryan County commissioner Ivan Kelly says.
Currently, the other area Dopplers barely reach Texoma, but one in Bryan County would be a central spot to cover everywhere in between.
"This is a need we have not selfishly for Bryan County. This is a need for multiple counties, in southeastern Oklahoma, south central Oklahoma, and all the counties that border us into Texas," Kelly says.
Dalton says since this is an election year, it could take two or three years for the funds to go through, but he says it's time and money that would be well spent.