August 21, 2014

Wind farm at Chapman Ranch could pose a public safety hazard

Wind Farm at Chapman Ranch Could Pose a Public Safety Hazzard Caroline Flores | August 20, 2014 |

CORPUS CHRISTI – The battle over the wind farm in the Chapman Ranch area continues. Now the general manager of a local television station is saying the wind farm poses a public safety issue.

The main public safety issues all broadcast groups in this area are worried about, deals with weather tracking.

The National Weather Service radar is out near the airport. That is where our local meteorologists get their up to date weather readings.

“This proposed wind farm would block about a 30 degree view of their radar to the south. Which is exactly where hurricane Brett came to shore several years ago,” said KEDT President and General Manager Don Dunlap.

“Bottom line being is that if there was some storm activity down here to the south of us and it was headed toward the city, we wouldn’t be able to get an accurate reading on what those storms were doing. And thus they would pop up over the city before we knew about them,” said KRIS 6 Chief Meteorologist Dale Nelson.

The wind farm could also affect how all stations cover the news during a natural disaster. Because of the location of the transmission towers to the wind farm, there is a chance no local news station will be able to have a live report in Flour Bluff and Padre Island.

That’s not where the problems end. There’s one more that would affect viewers from the Southside of Corpus Christi to Padre Island.

“Would see in their television set uh where the picture freezes and blocks and the audio skips and stops,” said Dunlap.

Dunlap and KRIS 6 General Manager, Greg McAlister, have urged county leaders to stop construction of the wind farm.

“We’re not against alternative energy, windfarms. But this is just a very poor location for this for public safety reasons,” said Dunlap.

Dunlap says all area broadcasters support the city’s proposed annexation in the Chapman Ranch area, in an effort to block the wind farm.

No additional comments from APEX officials. In fact, they’ve told us they have nothing further to say until the issue has resolved.

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