Lightning strike knocks National Weather Service transmitter offline

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Many Central Texans rely on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radios to stay safe in case of severe weather. But one area weather radio transmitter isn’t working.

Two weeks ago, lightning struck the NOAA weather radio transmitter in Llano County and knocked it out of service. The tower supplies the automated forecasts and emergency weather alerts for weather radios in Mason, Gillespie, Llano, Burnet and Blanco counties.

The National Weather Service (NWS) says only specially trained technicians can repair that tower. They hope to have it up and running again by the end of this week.

Until the signal returns, they recommend trying to tune into one of the nearby towers in Junction, Austin, Kerrville or San Saba. There is some overlap in the Hill Country.

The tower problems won’t affect people using online or mobile alerts, however. The NWS said the transmitter is only for weather radios.

You can sign up for Severe Weather Alert texts through KXAN.

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