Spirit of Texoma: Charlie Byars

Spirit of Texoma: Charlie Byars

Another severe weather season has arrived in Texoma, and for nearly 60 years one Wichita falls man has been watching the skies and keeping residents safe. Tonight we honor his dedication and hard work with our Spirit of Texoma award.

It's spring in Texoma, and that means across the area weather spotters are ready to put themselves in harm's way. Among them, Charlie Byars, who's been spotting storms since 1955.

Charlie is in charge of the local chapter of Skywarn and the Wichita County Emergency Management spotters, and oversees the Tri County Amateur Radio Emergency Services. The work is strictly volunteer, and during severe weather season Charlie and his team put in long hours.

Charlie and around two dozen others were in the field on Terrible Tuesday 1979.

He says, “We were getting ready earlier in the day for storms coming in to the Vernon area. Little did we know it would show up in Wichita falls.”

Byars says without the weather spotters many more people would have died and been injured that day.

His years of service have not gone unnoticed, he's received awards from the city and county. The A.R.E.S. Group received the NOAA hero award for assisting the national weather service detect and track dangerous storms in Northwest Texas.



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