Hurricane Matthew Skirts The Florida Coast, Heads North To Georgia And South Carolina
October 7, 2016 at 2:56 PM (PT)
The coast of FLORIDA flirted with Hurricane MATTHEW overnight, and has apparently dodged the worst of the storm, although storm surge remains a force to be reckoned with. GEORGIA and SOUTH CAROLINA are continuing to prepare for this unwelcome visitor, and ALL ACCESS will check in with radio in markets affected by this large ATLANTIC storm.
THE WEATHER CHANNEL reports wind gusts as high as 107mph have been clocked at CAPE CANAVERAL, FL, prompting a rare NWS "extreme wind warning" as the hurricane's western outer eyewall scrapes THE SPACE COAST.
CNN posted some drone flyover footage of some of the damage in the area:
WEDNESDAY (NET NEWS 10/5), ALL ACCESS checked in with programmers in the area REGARDING PREPARATIONS FOR THE STORM. Here's some updates from TODAY (10/7):
CBS/MIAMI SVP/Programming ROB MORRIS oversees Top 40 WPOW, Country WKIS and Sports WQAM-A tells ALL ACCESS, "Things are coming back to normal. We are on air. We were spared the brunt of this in SOUTH FLORIDA as the storm stayed out at sea, never getting close enough for the highest winds to get to us. That said, we are still getting power back for folks and there will be clean up to do. Lastly need to see where MATTHEW goes next week. Could double back by mid week next week, but likely as a tropical storm."
CMG/JACKSONVILLE OM TODD SHANNON said, "We will feel the full brunt of the storm starting TODAY at 2p. So far we have had a lot wind, rain, the beginnings of the storm surge and some local power outages. Our staff is in place on all of our brands, including our live and local staff for 95.1 WAPE. MARK KAYE, MEGHAN, CJ and JUSTIN will be the control room throughout the day and night talking to listeners, sharing the bridge closings and breaking news alerts on-air, social and on our mobile app. We are also very fortunate to have News 104.5 WOKV in the building sharing their news and resources with us."
WJCT, INC. noncommercial News-Talk WJCT/JACKSONVILLE has combined forces with the UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA's noncommercial News-Talk WUFT/GAINESVILLE; when WJCT was put under mandatory evacuation, the station began a simulcast of WUFT on the JACKSONVILLE system, with the stations combining reporting, alternating 15 minute segments of weather featuring WUFT and FLORIDA PUBLIC RADIO EMERGENCY NETWORK meteorologist JEFF HUFFMAN and local and regional news for both markets. The FLORIDA PUBLIC RADIO EMERGENCY NETWORK is in full swing, and stations are using Z/IP codecs to connect with each other, and are using Slack to communicate.
Miami Spared ... But Still Prepared
The hurricane missed the MIAMI area, yet the past three days provided great hands-on lessons fro stations preparing for such events. "If nothing else, the past 72 hours have been a good dry run for the ENTERCOM/SOUTH FLORIDA team, testing a severe-weather plan we haven’t had to activate since WILMA barreled across the state in 2005," WLYF HD1-HD2/MIAMI Dir./Programming & Operations ROB SIDNEY said. "All four of our brands were fully staffed with live talent -- interspersing our regular music and talk content with storm information – augmented by live updates from our television partner, LOCAL 10 (WPLG), the home of MAX MAYFIELD, former director of the NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER.
"Post-storm, we’re communicating information on how to help those affected -– both here in the U.S. and in the CARIBBEAN -- particularly HAITI, where the death toll is significant and continues to rise. This will be particularly relevant to SOUTH FLORIDA’s substantial Haitian Creole population.
"We’ve learned how much we rely on technology to gather and relay important safety information to our audiences – both on-air and online. And more importantly, we recognize how vital the human component is to making coverage like this happen.
"We had a remarkable team who sheltered-in-place and stepped up to serve the public," he concluded. "There are far too many team members to list here ... but credit must go to ENTERCOM for its commitment to live, local programming and robust staffing models –- especially in our markets where severe weather is an ongoing concern.
Beasley Teams With The Red Cross
BEASLEY MEDIA GROUP is working directly with the RED CROSS to raise funds for HURRICANE MATTHEW relief, which will go to help victims in both the SOUTHEAST U.S. and HAITI. THE RED CROSS created a customized website for BEASLEY, allowing its listeners to donate directly to the charity group through the station websites and eventually its apps.