CHAMPAIGN — The National Weather Service announced this week that it has signed a lease at a new tower for its long-dormant weather radio.

The weather radio went offline in February 2020.

WCIA-TV announced that it was partnering with the weather service to put the radio on its tower in Seymour.

The lease has been signed, according to the weather service, and a structural analysis will be done soon to ensure the tower can support the radio transmitter antenna.

If it passes that test, the antenna would be installed, according to a statement from the weather service’s Lincoln office.

But “there is no estimated date for a return to service,” the statement said, though it said an update would be provided no later than March 29.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, who has been in touch with the top official at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration about the weather radio, praised the lease announcement.

“This news means we are one step closer to having life-saving weather-radio service restored to Champaign and Piatt counties, among others,” Davis said. “This is positive news, but there is still work to be done.”

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