NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Flash flooding struck the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Sunday night and Monday morning, with some areas seeing more than 10 inches of rainfall.
The extreme rainfall created a major communications outage at the National Weather Service Office in Fort Worth, but the Nashville Office was able to step in and put out those live-saving flood warnings.
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Krissy Hurley, the Meteorologist In Charge at the NWS Office in Nashville, says each office has a three-tier backup plan in case they cannot issue alerts. “We are part of the backup system that backs up Fort Worth—We were tasked with convective warnings last night and continuing through today. So we’re monitoring any kind of severe weather, and especially the flash flooding that is going on in the Metroplex.”
Communication outages due to severe weather are something that all National Weather Service offices prepare for. “There’s always going to be some other National Weather Service office that will be monitoring the weather, issuing forecasts, issuing those life-saving warnings, no matter what’s going on,” Hurley said.
Fort Worth’s backup offices are in Norman, Oklahoma, Shreveport, Louisiana, and Nashville, Tennessee. Typically two of the backup offices are nearby, and one is more distant.
Nashville’s backups are the Memphis, Knoxville, and Fort Worth Offices. And yes, there have been times when going into backup mode has been discussed.
“In March 2020, where that tornado that went into Mount Juliet was very close to the office. And where we talked about potentially having to go into backup mode. And the National Weather Service office in Knoxville was ready and prepared if we had to go into our safe place,” said Hurley.
Every National Weather Service office practices backing up other offices and going into backup mode frequently throughout the year, so they are always ready.