Weekend weather keeps group of Daviess Co. residents busy - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Weekend weather keeps group of Daviess Co. residents busy

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That constantly-changing weather over the past few days has kept a group of Daviess County residents busy.

They came together a little over a year ago with the goal of keeping western Kentucky safe and informed. 

When emergency officials need a real-time account of what's happening, on the ground and during severe weather, they often turn to this group.

For founding member Victor Payne, one particular event jump-started his desire to learn more about weather.

"Back in 2000 when the tornado hit here in Owensboro, it hit my house," said Payne.

That same event sparked co-founder Tim Crabtree's interest.

"I've just had a passion for weather all my life, and I've just loved, you know, thunderstorms and watching weather, and the tornado of 2000 hit Owensboro, and that kind of lit the fire," said Crabtree.

After that, Payne knew he wanted to make a difference for others in Daviess County.

"That's when I really got interested in learning more about it, becoming a weather spotter and helping the public out," said Payne. 

Both men went through special training with the Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service to become weather spotters.

The group has grown from two to 20 members.

Social media is a large part of the weather spotters' work.

"You know, we get a lot of people thanking us for keeping them informed, and a lot of comments, you know 'Oh, we didn't even know something was gonna happen. Thanks for letting us know," said Crabtree.

The spotters are able to use special equipment that even lets them track severe weather in their cars and report information to the EMA.

Spotter Chris Conley predicts that will make a huge difference.

"We're gonna save the day one day by being out here, and that's the main reason why I do it," said Conley. 

Training for new spotters will take place on February 19th in the Emergency Operations Center.

All members of the group are volunteers who simply enjoy learning about weather and have a desire to keep people safe and informed.

It's under the direction of the Emergency Management Agency.

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