Ithaca Cluster Weathers Wild Storm
June 25, 2007 at 8:24 AM (PT)
SAGA's CAYUGA RADIO GROUP/ITHACA, NY got an up-close look at what a "supercell thunderstorm" and tornadoes can do, with Talk WHCU-A and AC WYXL (LITE 97.3) getting knocked off the air THURSDAY afternoon when a lightning bolt sent a power surge into the stations' MOUNT PLEASANT transmitter site. The surge also cut off the STL link to Country WQNY (Q-COUNTRY 103.7) and left the back-up generator at the site literally smoking.
Talk WNYY-A managed to remain on the air through the height of the storm and became the group's emergency broadcasting outlet, with DAVE VIESER and GREG FRY handling complete storm coverage from WHCU's studios while CE JASON GORDETZER worked to get the other stations on the air at the transmitter site. GORDETZER dodged the rain and lightning to get WHCU back on the air using the station's night transmitter, launching a WHCU and WNYY simulcast; he then got the FMs working, with VIESER and FRY providing storm updates. All four stations were back at full power at 7p, four hours after the storms hit.
Before the storm hit, VIESER was able to get a picture of the funnel cloud, which came within less than a mile from his home. The pictures, available at whcu870.com, are being used by the NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE to determine if any tornadoes actually touched down.
Meanwhile, now that the weather's calmed down, the cluster can go back to looking for a news anchor/reporter looking to relocate to the FINGER LAKES region -- the job includes anchoring the afternoon and evening newscasts, reporting on evening news events, and news writing. Rush a CD, tape, and resume to 1751 Hanshaw Rd., ITHACA, NY 14850, or send an mp3 to email@example.com. EOE.