Contact: Marcie Katcher
NOAA News Releases 2006
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NOAA’s National Weather Service will present its prestigious Isaac M. Cline Award to Edward Capone, senior hydrologist with NOAA’s Northeast River Forecast Center, for innovation and the application of technical skills to improve the National Weather Service’s capabilities for handling dam failure situations.

The Isaac M. Cline Award honors individual and team employees for operational excellence in the delivery of products and services in support of the National Weather Service mission.

“Savings lives and property is the central function of each National Weather Service forecast office and the Isaac M. Cline Award demonstrates the hard work of Edward Capone to accomplish this goal,” said Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, USAF (Ret.), director of NOAA’s National Weather Service.

Mickey Brown, deputy director of the National Weather Service eastern region, will present the award during a ceremony to be held on June 7 at the National Weather Service in Taunton, Mass. Gregg Rishel, hydrologist-in-charge of the Northeast River Forecast Center nominated Capone for the award.

“Ed combined his extensive knowledge of hydraulic modeling, his desire for providing the very best customer service, and his considerable communication talents to develop this program,” said Rishel. “He has worked with our software developers to improve the applications software related to forecasting for dam failures. The training presentation he developed on dam failures includes the vital information needed to model flood waves, reviews the tools available for modeling, and step-by-step approaches to produce a dam failure simulation. His presentation, detail guide for dealing with dam failures and training session are an excellent prototype for educational outreach for the rest of the country.”

The quality of Ed’s contribution to the National Weather Service and its customers has been demonstrated in the service provided during several events and situations during the past year, including the potential of failure of Whittenton Dam in Taunton, Mass., in October 2005 that resulted in the evacuation of 2,000 persons; and the stability concerns at Gilboa Dam in New York state that started in November 2005 and continue today. In both of these cases, the procedures Capone developed enable the National Weather Service to provide detailed information to management on which to base their critical decisions.

The award is named for the man whose courage and dedication is credited with saving thousands of lives during the Galveston, Texas hurricane of 1900. Isaac Cline was in charge of the U.S. Weather Bureau office in Galveston when the popular coastal city was struck with the deadliest natural disaster in the nation’s history. The death toll exceeded 8,000, but could have been much higher if not for Cline’s acute understanding of the weather and his early hurricane warnings in an era when meteorology was in its infancy and ship-to-shore communications were non-existent.

The National Weather Service is an office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and more than 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

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