NWS Puerto Rico Office Offline Due to Hurricane Maria
BROWNSVILLE – The National Weather Service radar on Puerto Rico is currently down and unable to send out data.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke with the NWS office in Brownsville, they said they are keeping a close eye on their co-workers in the storm.
Barry Goldsmith with the NWS office said so far everyone is accounted for at their Puerto Rico office. The damages are still unknown.
The message "temporarily unavailable" is what greets you when go to check on the NWS radar in Puerto Rico.
"There is a power outage issue but with the radar and the equipment itself, we will find out when we get out there and assess," said Goldsmith
Despite the destruction on the island, Goldsmith said their office in Puerto Rico is still able to keep other NWS offices up-to-date.
"Wednesday afternoon the office was still up and running all system were operating and power switched over the generator," he said.
Goldsmith stated their main goal during hurricanes is to make sure first responders know what's going on. To do this they take many precautions.
"First thing we all do is check all the equipment inside and out for working order. We top off all the generators for the radar and the building to make sure we have plenty of gasoline and more gasoline on hand or diesel to be able to run things if the power goes out,” said Goldsmith.
In the event a NWS office is completely knocked out, those nearby are ready to help take over.
"Had Irma made landfall further east and knocked them out, we would have been the backup office to help them. Because we were on the quiet side of things and that's how it is with all these big storms," said Goldsmith.
Goldsmith added the damage to the radar is still unknown and is not sure when it will be back online.