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National Weather Service staff from coastal Texas offices at the display location for the Texas Division of Emergency Management's 2010 Conference in McAllen, May 20th 2010
Staff from National Weather Service Texas Offices at the display during the 2010 Texas Division of Emergency Management Hurricane Conference. From left, Hydrometeorological Technician Alfredo Vega (Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley), Senior Hydrologic Analysis and Support Forecaster Greg Waller (West Gulf River Forecast Center, Fort Worth), Warning Coordination Meteorologist Paul Yura (Austin/San Antonio), and Warning Coordination Meteorologist Barry Goldsmith (NWS Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley).

2010 Texas Hurricane Conference a Success
Coastal Emergency Managers and Staff Plan and Prepare

After a two year break, the Texas Division of Emergency Management’s Annual Hurricane Conference returned in 2010, hosted for the first time by the Rio Grande Valley in the nearly new McAllen Convention Center during the week of May 17th. The event drew an estimated 1500 attendees, who were treated to an array of educational workshops and exercises, focusing on community preparedness and public safety but also including a number of weather related sessions ranging from the always popular "Hurricanes 101" to the increasing methods of Decision Support National Weather Service staff will provide for the 2010 season. A few of these presentations will be available on our web site soon.

Starts with a Bang
The morning of May 18th had registrants huddled in the lobby, many dropping by the NWS booth to view live radar loops and local warning information as an intense squall line raced through, dropping as much as 4 inches of rain in the area and flooding low lying roads not too far from the Convention Center. Frequent cloud to ground lightning strikes and wind gusts to nearly 40 mph forced local fire fighter displays of equipment (ladder trucks) to bring them down to safety.

Chief Jack Colley, in Memoriam
This was the first Conference in recent memory without the presence of Jack Colley, Assistant Director for Homeland Security, who passed away suddenly from complications due to a major heart attack more than a week earlier. While he did not physically attend, his presence remained – through those in attendance, who will carry on his successful vision of making, and keeping, the State of Texas’ emergency management and public safety organization among the top in the nation.

Thanks... all of our partners in local and state emergency management, health services, the media, academia, and others for attending the 2010 Conference and supporting the National Weather Service across the State of Texas by attending our workshops, visiting our booth, and picking up supplies and information including the 2010 Texas Hurricane Guide. We’re looking forward to seeing all of you next year, and perhaps another time here in the Valley!