DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – During the peak of Hurricane Matthew, National Weather Service (NWS) offices along the coast were working around the clock. One of the Miami Valley’s meteorologists went to North Carolina to provide forecasting support.
Andy Hatzos is a general forecaster with the NWS office in Wilmington Ohio. He’s spent the last five days in Wilmington North Carolina providing support during Hurricane Matthew.
He took this video of rain and winds near 50-60 miles per hour after finishing one of his shifts. During a huge event like this coastal offices often ask for help to attend to the day to day forecasts because the demand is so high. At one point Hatzos said as many as ten forecasters were in the building providing updates to the public. His main focus was social media and coming up with ways to convey important information to keep people safe. He says while we may see the hurricane as a large storm their job is to focus on the small scale and local impacts.
Hatzos says, “How much rain fell in this county? When are the winds really going to pick up for Myrtle Beach. What kind of flooding are we then expecting on this river, like the Lumberton river. This river hit record flooding.”
Speaking of that flooding in Lumberton Hatzos was able to verify 18 inches of rain fell in that area. He’s finishing up a shift today and will head back to the Dayton area tomorrow.