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New Radar Technology Introduced As Davidson Co. Tornado Is Remembered

7:19 PM, Nov 15, 2012   |    comments
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Davidson Co. -- As the year mark approaches, Davidson County tornado victims remember. They remember the warnings from News 2, the sound of the EF-2 tornado, the destruction and sadness of a grandmother and grandchild killed.

WFMY News 2 goes to great lengths to prepare people, warn them and keep them safe. This week, a new upgrade to the nation's radar system is going to give forecasters more accurate details about storms. The bottom line, this technology was designed to save lives.

It's called dual-polarization or dual pol. It is the most significant upgrade to the nation's radar system since Doppler radar was introduced.  Our current radars only see in one dimension: the horizontal plane. But dual-pol radars, see in two dimensions, the horizontal and vertical, which gives forecasters a much more detailed picture of what is heading your way.

Folks affected by last year's storm are grateful for the new technology. At the same time, they're still picking up the pieces from the 2011 tornado.

"I'll probably never live long enough to get it all straightened out," Delmar Burleson said.

But you better believe the 78-year-old will work every day he can. The tornado destroyed a mobile home he owned. Burleson replaced it. The tornado jumped the highway and leveled a home he owns. Burleson rebuilt it.

As the storm swirled across his farm, it knocked down seven of his outbuildings. He's fixing those now, too. And if that wasn't enough, the tornado tore up and twisted 50 acres of his prime timber. Burleson estimates that will cost him about $50,000.

He says he'll work from sun up to sun down every day to get life as close to the way it was as he can. Burleson's lived a long time, but he says he's never seen anything like that tornado.

"I realized that night it was a bad storm," he says. "But the next morning, when daylight came, I came down here and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was just unreal."

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