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Hurricane Lee: Radio Amateurs and Nets Activated


Hurricane Lee is expected to impact portions of New England in the Northeastern United States and Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in Canada. The storm has had the full attention of forecasters and the volunteer organizations that coordinate Amateur Radio response to hurricanes. 

Amateur Radio Emergency Service®(ARES®) volunteer groups are in an elevated state of readiness and alert ahead of the storm.

ARRL Sections in the areas forecast to be impacted have activated. Section Manager of the ARRL Maine Section Phil Duggan, N1EP, sent an email to members in the section on Thursday encouraging them to ready their stations and homes. “Because of all the rain we have been getting, the likelihood of trees toppling is increased and most likely power outages,” he wrote. Duggan said the Washington County ARES group would be on the air starting Friday.

Portions of Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island have been dealing with flooding rain and tornadoes over the past week. Other areas of New England have had amateur radio activations throughout the week. Section Emergency Coordinator of the ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section Rob Macedo, KD1CY, who also serves as SKYWARN Coordinator for the National Weather Service Boston/Norton (MA) office and as Operations Manager for the Hurricane VoIP Net says formal activations are planned of the SKYWARN program. “We will support Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency efforts via the SKYWARN mission giving situational awareness and disaster intelligence information on storm damage, coastal flooding, any flooding from heavy rainfall and rain gauge reports,” he said. 

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) is planning to activate on Saturday morning at 8:00 am EST on on 14.325 MHz (USB). HWN will activate on 7.268 MHz (LSB) at 9:00 AM EDT (1300 UTC) or after the Waterway Net concludes, whichever occurs first. 

Net Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, says the storm still has a lot of uncertainty. “Over the past couple of days, the forecast track and intensity have been changing, so it is hard to know for sure if Lee will be a Hurricane at landfall. Regardless, as with any landfalling tropical cyclone, there is a strong potential for flooding, flash flooding, storm surge, damaging wind, and spin-up tornados. Unlike other regions of the US where it has been extremely dry, the New England States, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia have been very unseasonably wet. The saturated soil will allow flooding, flash flooding, and for strong winds to push over trees and power poles, so, widespread power outages can be expected,” said Graves.  

The Hurricane VOiP Net is planning to activate on Saturday, according to the groups Public Information Officer, Lloyd Colston, KC5FM, “The will be activating Saturday on Echolink 7203 and IRLP 9219 for possible Hurricane Lee reports from New England and Canadian provinces…The net will also connect to the Kansas Sunflower System ( with connections to Allstar, Hamshack Hotline, TGIF DMR, Dstar, Fusion, M17, and P25,” said Colston in an email.   

The WX4NHC station at the National Hurricane Center will be active on the HWN frequencies and also on the Hurricane VoIP Net. 

The station will also be monitoring WinLink reports via  (subject line must contain //WL2K). An online reporting form is also available. Link: 

As ARRL Field Organization leaders begin activating volunteers, radio amateurs are encouraged to prepare their stations with the ARES go kit checklist

This story was last updated at 2:30 EST on Friday, September 15. 

About Amateur Radio and ARRL

Amateur Radio Service licensees use their training, skills, and equipment to practice radio communications and develop radio technology. Amateur Radio Operators volunteer their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in public service and during emergencies. Amateur Radio also provides a basis for hands-on STEM education and pathways to careers.

ARRL  The National Association for Amateur Radio® was founded in 1914 as The American Radio Relay League, and is a noncommercial organization of Radio Amateurs. ARRL numbers within its ranks the vast majority of active Radio Amateurs (or “hams”) in the US and has a proud history of achievement as the standard-bearer in promoting and protecting Amateur Radio. For more information about ARRL and Amateur Radio, visit

About ARES®

Amateur Radio Operators, or “hams,” have a long history of serving their communities when storms or other disasters damage critical communication infrastructure, such as cell phone towers and fiber optic networks. Amateur radio functions completely independently of the internet and phone systems, and a ham radio station can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. Amateurs can quickly raise a wire antenna in a tree or on a mast, connect it to a radio and power source, and communicate effectively with others.

The ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES® consists of hams who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment with their local ARES leadership for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. They use their training, skills, and equipment to prepare for and provide communications during emergencies When All Else Fails®.



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