Flooding In Memphis Has Local Radio Helping Its Hometown
May 10, 2011 at 9:03 AM (PT)
Our thoughts are with all in the MEMPHIS area, as the MISSISSIPPI RIVER crested in the city at nearly 48 feet TODAY (5/10), falling inches short of its all-time record but still soaking low-lying areas with enough water to require a massive cleanup, reports WMC-TV.
CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 KWNW (RADIO NOW 101.9) PD DINO CONARD tells ALL ACCESS, "Our broadcast tower is 22 ft underwater. Our engineers worked nonstop to move us to a dry site where we're sharing with our sister station KJMS. The police, fire department, first responders, and Army Corp. of Engineers have done a tremendous job of keeping people informed and safe. Over 900 houses and 12 apartment buildings were evacuated. We're updating people on air/online with shelter and evacuation info. Along with WMC-TV (NBC), CLEAR CHANNEL/MEMPHIS we're coordinating a fundraiser today."
"We're broadcasting from the backup transmitter which was built last year with just this type of disaster in mind," added CONARD. "We had considered building as high as 42 feet, but opted instead for 46." [Ed Note: A decision that proved to be critical in keeping THAT transmitter above water (see photo)]
ENTERCOM Classic Hits WKQK and Sports WMFS-A/F PD BRAD CARSON shares with ALL ACCESS, "We were lucky it didn't get higher than 50 feet for our listeners in the HARBOR TOWN/MUD ISLAND area. Lots of praying and pitching in, as usual, in this great community. ENTERCOM/MEMPHIS is doing everything we can to help the flood victims. We've partnered with local TV and are using on-line, on-site, and on-air obviously to raise money and give out very important information."
"However, the national media have done a terrible job of capitalizing on something that shouldn't affect tourism. It's easy to watch to the edge of the river and step in for a camera shot in 'waders.' MEMPHIS is open for business and we are celebrating the GRIZZLIES in the playoffs, the MEMPHIS in MAY World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest, and GRACELAND is rocking! Despite the National TV, only a side road (RIVERSIDE DRIVE) is seeing water and all the camera crews."
FLINN Top 40 WHBQ (961 1075 THE Q)/MEMPHIS OM/PD CHRIS TAYLOR added, "This is a time when the power of radio shines thru. The immediacy of providing information is what we have focused on in our group. FLINN BROADCASTING is locally owned so GEORGE FLINN is getting to see first hand what is going on in the market. MEMPHIS is a major city with a small town vibe, it's been amazing to see neighbors helping neighbors, volunteers filling sand bags to protect homes and businesses and people donating to shelters."
TAYLOR continued, "WHBQ FM (THE Q) has partnered with local FOX affiliate WHBQ TV FOX 13 on storm coverage and THE Q is doing an on air auction on FRIDAY, auctioning off one of a kind listener experiences with all the money raised going to THE RED CROSS. The station has also used the web site and Q social media to get listener reaction, comments, needs and post pictures of what they seeing."