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Pickering raises Doppler radar concerns

By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
April 25, 2001
U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss., said Tuesday he has relayed local concerns about the reliability of Doppler radar in East Mississippi to the Bush administration.
The radar has been the subject of debate for a number of years. Concern peaked in December, when residents of the Dalewood and Russell communities did not receive adequate notice of an approaching F-2 tornado.
Officials with the National Weather Service in Jackson said human error, not the radar equipment, was to blame.
Area residents and officials wonder, however, if the Doppler radar system has the ability to detect tornadoes in this area because of the terrain.
Pickering addressed these concerns in a meeting Tuesday with Secretary of Commerce Don Evans. The National Weather Service falls under Evans' direction, and Pickering said help may be on the way.
Evans said he will look into the matter.
Pickering also discussed the timber industry with Evans, particularly pressure felt by U.S. growers since the expiration of the United States-Canadian Softwood Lumber Agreement.
Pickering joined a group of timber industry representatives in announcing a lawsuit three weeks ago opposing what they feel are unfair lumber trading practices on Canada's part. Pickering said the Canadian government subsidizes its timber industry which in turn floods the U.S. market with cheaper lumber.
The lawsuit asks for the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission to impose an import duty on Canadian lumber as it enters the U.S.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217; or e-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.

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