Hurricane Dorian and Winlink - First Blush Report.

Hurricane Dorian was a long-lived, extremely powerful and destructive Category 5 hurricane that devastated the northwestern Bahamas and caused significant damage to the Southeastern United States and Atlantic Canada. It was the fifth depression, fourth named storm, second hurricane, and the first major hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. The hurricane caused catastrophic damage to Grand Bahama and Abaco Island, with at least 70,000 people left homeless.

Dorian developed from a tropical wave on August 24 in the Central Atlantic. From August 26 to August 28, the storm affected Caribbean nations and territories devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. Extensive precautionary measures were taken to mitigate damage, especially in Puerto Rico, where one person died. Damaging winds primarily affected the Virgin Islands where gusts reached 111 mph (179 km/h). The system gradually intensified while moving toward the Lesser Antilles, before becoming a hurricane on August 28. Elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles, impacts from the storm were relatively minor. (From Wikipeda)

Winlink was used to facilitate communications as a primary means when local infrastructure was affected or as a ready back up.
Numerous ARES RACES and other groups used Winlink on VHF and HF to send a large number of messages.
Shares was in high operation and also carried significant HF traffic.
In addition the new ITU gateways, most notably HI8COE, are handling traffic from the Bahamas.

- Shelters in operation passed ICS213's for requests and status reports.
- ICS 205
- Spot Rep Reports
- ICS 214
- Hurricane and Severe Weather reports.
- RRI Radiograms
- Many were simple plain text messages.
- Boaters requests via the catalog system in Express was also high.

The traffic count for sent and received for US amateurs was over 500 during the peak periods of the Hurricanes passage.
All HF protocols were in use, and the FCC granted temporary use of Pactor 4 for US licenses.

It most be noted that the Bahamas was the hardest hit. The exceptional communications efforts by WX4TV and others is impressive.
As I write this Winlink is providing a high traffic count in and out of the Bahamas via HF gateways and their subsequent Internet connectivity.
This effort will continue for some time even with satellite systems being deployed. The radio operators are going beyond the call of duty.

Winlink with its HF Gateways and radio operators use of the network, have proven to be an invaluable communications service for Emcomm.
Dorian appears to be the first in a string of weather events for the season and Winlink will be there as a communications link.

ARRL Notice:

Mike xe2/n6kzb WDT member

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