Clarion Co. puts out call for volunteer sky watchers

Clarion County is looking for a few good sky watchers.

Jeff Smathers, director of the county’s Department of Public Safety, said Tuesday at a county commissioners meeting that a Skywarn training session will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at the Riverview Intermediate Unit.

Smathers said Skywarn is an early warning system developed by the National Weather Service that helps the Weather Service identify and describe local storms, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods.

Smathers said anyone can become a Skywarn volunteer. There are between 350,000 and 400,000 Skywarn watchers across the nation.

Volunteers will be trained in the basics of thunderstorm development, fundamentals of storm structure, identifying potential severe weather issues, how to report information and basic weather safety.

Smathers said there would also be training available for a rain watcher program. He said the county monitors rainfall because of the number of dams on the Clarion upstream of the county.

He said knowing the amount of rain may help provide a warning of a potential flood.

To register for the Skywarn program, contact the Department of Public Safety at (814) 226-6631.

In other matters Tuesday, the commissioners approved several leases at the Human Services building. All the new leases are in effect from March 1 through June 30.

Human Services will pay $471 a month for a total of $1,884, Children and Youth Services will pay $9,826 a month for a total of $39,304, and Justice Works Youth Care will pay $911 a month for a total of $3,644.

Commissioner Ted Tharan said the rates are the same but the agencies had moved to different areas.

The commissioners issued several proclamations following the Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry awards dinner on Saturday.

The proclamations were for Clarion Psychiatric Center as the 2018 Business of the Year, Economic Development Division; Highland Oaks at Water Run as the Business of the Year, Community Service Division; Stephanie Wilshire for the Lifetime Achievement Award, Kimberly Titley as the Volunteer of the Year and Tracy Myers as the Citizen of the Year.

The commissioners will next meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 27.