WeatherBug® Professional Keeps an Eye on the Skies During Taping of "EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION" in New Orleans
Two Hour Season Finale Features Community Impacted by the Devastation of Hurricane Katrina
Germantown, MD — As the final stop on their 50-state tour, which airs this Sunday at 7 p.m. EST on ABC, the "EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION" team will surprise the Usea family of Westwego, LA, and the Noah's Ark Missionary Baptist Church in New Orleans, LA, with the news that they will be rebuilding for two Gulf Coast heroes in just seven days.
WeatherBug, a leading provider of live, local weather services, is proud to have volunteered its services during the taping of the show by donating a professional-grade weather station and a local team for 24-hour meteorological support to help monitor current conditions and severe weather alerts from the WeatherBug Network and National Weather Service throughout the week.
"Weather has a huge impact on construction and remodeling efforts. The safety benefits are easy to grasp, but what may not be as obvious is that many businesses can greatly increase efficiency and reduce liability when forewarned of significant weather events," said Randy Smith, southeast regional manager and part of the local WeatherBug team in New Orleans. "We were there on-site to keep an eye on the skies so the EMHE crew could plan accordingly if there were any weather concerns, such as rain, high winds or extreme heat, which could impact the build."
Brad and Laura Usea's home took a nasty beating leaving more than $15,000 in damages from the brutal storm. Not only was their home severely damaged, but Brad's mother Grace's house was completely destroyed leaving her, Brad's older brother Chris, and Brad's twin brother Chad all homeless. Then, in February of 2007, tornados struck Westwego in the middle of the night causing more devastation to their already fragile home and destroying the FEMA trailer in the backyard where Chris had been living since the hurricane.
That night, Brad and Chad, both volunteer firefighters, came to the rescue of not just their family, but their neighbors who were trapped in their own FEMA trailer. Local heroes to many, Brad and Chad continue to work to rebuild their community that has been devastated by natural disasters, while living on top of each other in a single family home.
In 1998, Pastor Willie Walker came to Noah's Ark Missionary Baptist Church, who has been serving the needy community in New Orleans for 60 years. When Katrina hit, he risked his life by going back to the devastation time and time again to help rescue hundreds and saved countless lives. When Willie finally returned to the church, he found it totally destroyed by the flood waters. For 2 years, Willie continues to work tirelessly to help the victims of Katrina, but has not been able to rebuild his beloved church.
"Immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit, WeatherBug coordinated with the Red Cross and other relief organizations and deployed a team to the Gulf Coast for on-site meteorological support and to restore the nation's damaged weather network with NOAA's National Weather Service," continued Smith. "It is fitting that we would have an opportunity to return again to help a community still on the road to recovery. We are very happy to have played a part in helping to make the Usea family and Pastor Walker's dreams come true."
About ABC-TVs Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," which has won back-to-back Emmy Awards as Best Reality Program (non-competitive), is in its 5th season on ABC. The program is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. Denise Cramsey is the executive producer; and David Goldberg is the president of Endemol USA.
WeatherBug (http://www.weatherbug.com and http://www.weatherbugprofessional.com) is a trusted source of dynamic weather information enabling people worldwide to make more informed weather-related decisions. By combining its proprietary asset-the world's largest, most dense network of live weather stations and cameras-with aggregated weather data from around the world, the WeatherBug Network delivers highly precise weather information for the most accurate, neighborhood-level weather available. Millions of consumers and professional organizations, including the National Weather Service, rely on WeatherBug to make more informed personal and mission critical decisions which safeguard lives, impact communities and improve business operations. WeatherBug is a brand of AWS Convergence Technologies, Inc. (http://www.aws.com)