Amidst Heavy Floods, Radio Keeps Houston Afloat With Info, Support
April 19, 2016 at 3:05 PM (PT)
Torrential rainfall flooded the HOUSTON area on MONDAY morning, shutting down the city. Six people died in their cars and 1,200 people were rescued, CNN reports, as an estimated 240 billion gallons of rain has fallen in the HOUSTON area -- with more forecasted to come.
And as always in emergency situations, local radio stayed on the air to spread the news and encourage help. According to CBS RADIO/HOUSTON VP/Programming/OM CHARESE FRUGE. "We are very lucky at CBS RADIO, we were pretty short staffed on MONDAY because no one could drive in, but we had a few key players in the building who helped to keep us on the air so we could provide the necessary info needed to get through the flooding. No one in our building was hurt or stuck on the roads in vehicles. We are bracing ourselves for more rain WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY but don’t anticipate the flooding to be as severe as Monday (fingers crossed).
"Right now the immediate focus for the city is rescue and recovery, raising funds for the RED CROSS and a desperate need for volunteers for the shelters that are set up around HOUSTON for those who were flooded out of their homes and apartments," she continued. "CBS RADIO/HOUSTON is running a heavy campaign across all stations for donations and volunteers for the RED CROSS. Specifically, MIX 96.5 and The DAVE MAHONEY and DK show are partnering with The WORLD FAMOUS KILLEN’S BBQ on FRIDAY where a portion of the proceeds from Lunch served between 11a and 2p as well as Cash Donations on site will go to the RED CROSS.
"In addition to the need for funds and volunteers, multiple blood drives across the city have been canceled due to the flooding and there is a shortage in the city. HOT 95.7 and SARAH PEPPER and IVAN are focused on a campaign to help GULF COAST REGIONAL BLOOD CENTER’s across HOUSTON re-stock our blood banks. The specific details are largely dependent upon how the weather holds up for the next two days. In the meantime, if you’d like to help contribute, all the details can be found @mix965houston.com. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated."
Updates And Red Cross Relief
At CUMULUS MEDIA Top 40 KRBE/HOUSTON, PD LESLIE WHITTLE reports: "Yesterday was the big day as the deluge came in overnight (almost 20 inches in some areas). Half of the ROULA and RYAN Show made it in to hold down the fort while the other half pitched in from their remote locations (basically from their neighborhoods since they were stranded). Today there are some roads that are impassable but if the rain holds off the city should be ok and the weather forecast is improving. We are working with the RED CROSS to help families who were affected by the flood and will continue to do so in the coming days/weeks.
"When this is over I'm buying a kayak," she added.
iHEARTMEDIA Urban KQBT/HOUSTON PD and Urban Digital Brand Coordinator Bo Money chimed in by saying, "We are affected by the major highways being closed, as well as the schools! It disrupts natural order for people in central HOUSTON. North HOUSTON is directly impacted with the property damage. We just give up-to-the-minute reports for relief.
"My jocks and I have not been affected, although one was advised to stay home because of the highway being closed."
Providing Updates And Spiritual Support
At COX MEDIA Country KKBQ/HOUSTON, Dir./Operations JOHNNY CHIANG noted, "We went full weather/traffic/school closing mode for all of MONDAY on both KKBQ and KGLK. We still played music and executed our regularly scheduled promotions, but everything took a backseat to information for our audience. All of our Social were devoted to information as well, especially school closings."
KSBJ EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION Contemporary Christian KSBJ (89.3)/HOUSTON PD TY MCFARLAND reported, "We’ve had our head down working, and have been in 'taking care of our listeners' mode for the last two mornings, and our team is meeting throughout the day today to plan a longer-term response to serve Houston as the city recovers. We should have something that we can share on that with you soon.
"We were on the air providing hope and information yesterday, as people were struggling to stay away from the danger of flooding water," he continued. "PAM KELLY and BILL INGRAM were on the air all day long yesterday helping listeners navigate roads, canceled flights, school and work and road closures, and rising water, and helping to keep Houstonians safe. And our KSBJ Morning Show team of RACHELLE & CARDER were on the air giving people hope and encouragement.
"Today we’re praying for exhausted first-responders, and we’re cheering for the neighbors that we’ve seen who are helping neighbors. At least five people lost their lives yesterday, and so we’re praying for their families. There were numerous dangerous situations, in fact well over 1,000 rescues just yesterday alone. I know we’ll be telling those stories on the air all this week, and pointing our listeners to places where they can volunteer, and help with the clean-up, and all of the other needs."