DURANT, Okla. (KTEN) — An idea that dates back to 2006 has finally come to life as Durant Emergency Management has launched the free Durant Weather Radar App for Android and Apple devices.

But how does this impact people all across Texoma?

"We've had several tornadoes go undetected over the past five years that touched down — some of those with fatalities with them — that really weren't warned until way later," said KTEN Chief Meteorologist Mandy Bailey. "And so having this radar will increase warning time; it will help public safety; and it will really just, over all, add such a better product to Texoma to keep lives safe and property as well-protected as possible."

Before the Durant radar came online, Texoma relied on radar stations in Fort Worth and Oklahoma City that only see above 12,000 feet.

"With the Durant one, that angle will be lower, so well be able to detect what's going on lower to the ground," Bailey said.

The Durant Weather Radar App can 'see' things that Dallas and Oklahoma City radars can't.

 

"That's where tornadoes happen; they happen below 12,000 feet," explained Richard Ezell, director of Durant Emergency Management. "The radar, it is a gap-filler, so it is made to fill that gap below 12,000  feet."

Durant's new radar facility was purchased with a $1.6 million grant.

"We had left over money above and beyond the price of the radar, and so we have purchased multiple years of the app licenses and stuff," Ezell said.

But that money won't last forever. The grant money expires in April of this year, and the app licenses go through the end of 2025.

So the city of Durant will be left figuring out where the money for upkeep, maintenance and licensing will come from.