Woodward, OK Tornado That Killed Six Comes Within Blocks Of KWDQ, KWFX And KSIW-A Studios
April 17, 2012 at 3:42 AM (PT)
The tornado that struck WOODWARD, OK over the weekend, killed six and came within blocks of the studios of CLASSIC COMMUNICATIONS Country KWDQ, Rock KWFX and Sports KSIW-A. The good news is no one from the stations were hurt.
PD SAM PEIL told ALL ACCESS the "tornado was about eight blocks north and 12 blocks west of our studio. No damage to our facilities. This was the second round of severe storms to hit our listening area on SATURDAY. We were off the air for about 2.5 hours after the tornado, as hail earlier had damaged our switch at the transmitter site and we had to go manually turn on our generator and it took some time before we could access it because of another tornado that downed power lines on roads accessing our tower site."
"We were the first two radio stations, KWDQ and KWFX, both 100,000 watts, in WOODWARD to resume broadcasting after the tornado," continued PEIL. "We had been covering severe weather in afternoon with the tornado warning sirens going off in the city of WOODWARD. We were on the air with severe weather coverage warning people that there was a tornado warning for the city of WOODWARD. We lost power but as soon as we returned to the air, we went into full emergency mode to let our listeners know what had happened and where and where they could go for assistance if they required it. Our Emergency Management Officer for WOODWARD works very closely with us and gave us updates on all information as soon as it became available. We were able to alert people to avoid the area that was struck as the tornado crossed the main east-west highway thru WOODWARD. We were able to direct our listeners where to take any emergency supplies that they wished to donate. We continued to offer live coverage of the situation until about 9p SUNDAY. We were under a tornado warning but this tornado just formed with no immediate warning. One of the storm chasers for an OKC TV station nearly drove into it before he could see it, and his first clue was he saw debris on the roadway and he was about 2 blocks from it."
There was severe damage with "89 homes destroyed, 13 business destroyed, over 600 homes damaged and only six fatalities (miracle) because this happened at 12:18a when many people were already in bed," added PEIL. "We are continuing to keep people informed about where to go and how to help their fellow human (or pet) in this ongoing situation."