KODIAK, Alaska — A weather station in Kodiak that provides information to boaters is back online after it was vandalized earlier this year.

The Gull Island weather sensor in Chiniak Bay needed about $2,000 in repairs after someone apparently smashed it, The Kodiak Daily Mirror (http://bit.ly/2cvzPyQ ) reported. The sensor, which cost $5,000, was previously damaged by gunshots.

“If we field weather sensors and the local community doesn’t feel they’re wanted through destroying them, we can’t afford to continue to build and field them,” said Bill Benning, the chief technology officer for the Marine Exchange of Alaska. “If someone feels there’s a better place to know weather conditions, than we can consider moving it elsewhere.”

The marine organization operates the weather station and has dozens of others across the state, with most of them in southeast Alaska and Prince William Sound.

“We’ve always looked at this, we’ve been in operation since 2001, as a way to try to make our waters safer,” Benning said. “If we can get the information out to the people on the water, they can make an intelligent decision on whether to go out or not.”

The devices work in conjunction with an automatic tracking system to provide weather and location information for vessels.

“It’s all real-time weather data useful to mariners and tied into the NOAA weather system, so they’re getting local real-time weather in as many places as they can,” said Kodiak’s harbormaster, Lon White. “It really benefits mariners, and that’s why the instrumentation is critical.”


Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com