Weather radio distribution concludes in Beulah

Published 9:30 am Thursday, June 29, 2023

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BEULAH — Phase II of the weather radio distribution for local seniors was completed Tuesday morning with Ray Edwards, State Senator Randy Price and State Rep. Debbie Wood taking 25 of them to the Beulah Senior Center. They’d previously brought more than 100 of the free radios to the senior centers in Lanett and LaFayette. Phase I of the distribution took place last year when 150 of these potentially life-saving radios were brought to Valley Senior Center.

Phase III will be done in the near future. More than 160 weather radios will be distributed to senior centers in Roanoke, Wedowee, Heflin and Lineville.

Tuesday’s distribution was particularly meaningful to Wood. She grew up in the Beulah community, and her mother, the late Peggy Hamby, once ran the original senior center in Beulah. “When I was in high school and I’d just started driving, I would take meals to seniors who were homebound,” she said.

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That was an early start on a career in public service.

Price said it gladdened his heart for Bealah seniors to benefit from this state-funded program. He has a farm not too far from the Beulah community. He was planning on getting on a tractor and baling hay during the afternoon.

“Beulah has come a long way with this beautiful new center,” he said. “Not too long ago this was a muddy field where pulpwood trucks were parked. It’s so good to see this new center here with lots of seniors coming here every day.”

Carolyn Davis has been the Beulah Senior Center manager for the past seven years. She was there for the transition from an old center to the new one several years ago. “We have about 35 members in all,” she said. “Except for holidays, we are open every Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT. We have a wonderful group of seniors, and we all appreciate this nice, new center we have. Our seniors love card games and dominoes. Some of them exercise and take part in tossing around a ball. We all love to sing with each other.”

Edwards has been a board member of the Alabama Department of Senior Services for the past 18 years and has been its board chairman for the past 12 years.

“Having weather radios is important for seniors in the east-central Alabama region,” Edwards said. “We don’t get Alabama TV stations at home. We get Georgia stations in this part of the state. In most cases, bad weather passes over us before it gets to Georgia. Many times when we are warned of an approaching storm on TV the system has already passed us.”

All the senior has to do to use the weather radio is to plug it into an electrical outlet. If the power it out, the radio works on batteries. If stormy weather is on the way, the radios will have the most current information for their area from the National Weather Service.

“We want you all to be safe and to be with us for a long time,” Wood told the seniors.

“I want to thank Debbie Wood and Randy Price for helping me with the grant funding for this program,” Edwards said. “We have now completed Phases I and II. We will soon do Phase III. We really want to extend this program statewide. As we all know, Alabama is a state that gets its share of bad weather. We want people to be prepared for it when it gets here.”

“I want to thank Ray for his leadership in this program and what he does for seniors throughout our state,” Price said.