Weather and emergency management professionals discuss changing forecasts and warnings

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RAPID CITY, SD — Rapid City dedicated this week to commemorating the 1972 flood, with a variety of events, from bike rides to signs.

A panel Thursday included National Weather Service Warning Coordination meteorologist Susan Sanders, Rapid City Pennington County Deputy Director of Emergency Management Alexa White, National Weather Service hydrologist Melissa Smith and Chief Emeritus of the NewsCenter1 Bob Riggio.

They discussed how forecasting and emergency management have changed since 1972, and how technology has improved forecasting and warnings. The importance of being prepared for any type of emergency was underlined.

“I would say we are better prepared now with our stakeholders, with our technology,” says Alexa White. “However, I think people can generally be more complacent because we have all these things to lean on, that they don’t look ahead and think, ‘Oh, what could happen today? Or what should I be prepared for?”

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