Houston, Post-Hurricane Ike: In Recovery Mode
September 15, 2008 at 3:27 AM (PT)
HOUSTON is a disaster area with over two million people without power. The entire city is without running water, and widespread damage in the wake of HURRICANE IKE will likely total into the billions of dollars. ALL ACCESS spoke to CBS Top 40 KKHH (HOT 95.7)/HOUSTON PD MARK ADAMS on SUNDAY (9/14) about the condition of the station and the cluster.
"HOUSTON looks like it was attacked by GODZILLA. We are on the 19th floor of a 20-floor building and this building is in terrible shape. A large chunk of our roofing ripped up the infrastructure and landed in a MERCEDES dealer parking lot next door.
People are in a frenzy looking for water, ice, food and gas. Very few stores are open and all have extremely long lines. The lack of water pressure is creating the biggest problem ...
"With the roof went the STL link, and I am not sure how our engineers did it, but we are on the air from our studios, which thankfully sustained no water or structural damage. There are no elevators; they are flooded out. We are on the commercial power grid, so we got power back pretty quickly, but there is no air conditioning in the building, so it's pretty rough going.
"Our Market Mgr. LAURA MORRIS is meeting with the building management to assess operations going forward. We may have to relocate, depending on how soon repairs can get underway. RADIO ONE is in this building as well, on the 9th floor, so their walk to work is not as brutal as ours. Thousands of people work in this building, so I am not sure what we are going to do.
"I think all of HOUSTON's stations were down at the peak of storm between 2-3a on SATURDAY (9/13) morning. We had been, and immediately following the storm, were in simulcast mode with our other CBS stations -- Country KILT-F, KILT-A (SPORTS 610) and Talker KIKK-A (CNN 650). We reverted back to playing some music as of 8p SATURDAY night."
ADAMS' personal experience with IKE was something of a nightmare. "I have never been so scared in my life. I am still quite unnerved by the experience and haven't slept in many, many hours. My house is damaged with water all over the first floor. It was so crazy hours before the landfall, as it just went on and on for hours. My whole building shook for five hours, but all of the windows held. The rain was coming in under the doors and through the casements, being pushed by 100-mile-per-hour winds."
Clear Channel Update
ALL ACCESS was in contact with CLEAR CHANNEL President/Market Mgr. EDDIE MARTINY by e-mail - as his cell and station phones for were down - for an update:
"Our facilities stayed on for the most part. Seven of our eight stations are on generator power. Yes, we are on long-form hurricane coverage on KTRH-A, providing hourly updates to our other seven stations. Damage to our facility was nominal compared to others; fallen trees primarily.
"People are in a frenzy looking for water, ice, food and gas. Very few stores are open and all have extremely long lines. The lack of water pressure is creating the biggest problem, especially for those without power."
Cox, Radio One Reports
ALL ACCESS heard from other radio groups as well. "We hung in pretty well," COX CEO/Pres. BOB NEIL said. "Minor damage as far as we can tell, but we'll need to get some tower crews in to inspect fully. Some windows were damaged at the building that houses the studios, but not on our floor. The power's out, but generators are working."
"We're OK," RADIO ONE Top 40/Rhythmic KBXX (THE BOX)/HOUSTON PD TERRI THOMAS said. "We're tired ... lots of damage here. About 97% of the people have no power with all the flooding, etc. We're hanging in there, though..."
Shane Media Checks In
ED SHANE of SHANE MEDIA/HOUSTON, who has lived in HOUSTON since 1973, said that HURRICANE IKE was the worst he has ever experienced. In the wake of the storm SHANE reports that they have access to the building only a few hours a day because the doors are electric and are padlocked for security reasons at other times.
Houston PPM Affected?
How will all this affect PPM measurement? ALL ACCESS reached out to ARBITRON SVP/Press & Investor Relations THOM MOCARSKY, who said, "We're monitoring the situation and we will provide our customers with an update in the first half of next week. Too soon to tell at this time."
Beaumont: KLVI Coverage Simulcast
Up the coast in BEAUMONT, CLEAR CHANNEL Talk KLVI-A had its signal knocked off the air, but KLVI's continuous coverage, anchored by AL CALDWELL, was airing on sister Oldies KCOL (COOL 92.5), Country KYKR (KICKER 95.1), AC KKMY (MIX 104.5), and Rock KIOC (BIG DOG 106).