Radio Mans Battle Stations as Hurricane Irene Hits East Coast, Heads For NYC
Death Toll Nearing Double-Digits, Millions Without Power
August 27, 2011 at 8:29 PM (PT)
HURRICANE IRENE hit the shores of NORTH CAROLINA at around 7:30a ET this MORNING (8/27), and while it has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm with 80 mph winds, IRENE has already caused considerable destruction and has taken lives. CNN.COM reports the death toll at nine, while ABC NEWS reports that over two million are without power.
On top of high winds, torrential rain and flooding, TALKING POINTS MEMO reports that tornadoes have touched down in DELAWARE and MARYLAND, with tornado alerts issued for PHILADELPHIA and NEW YORK CITY metros. The storm is moving at approximately 16 mph as it heads into NEW JERSEY, towards NEW YORK and the rest of NEW ENGLAND.
Over a half-million people customers are without electricity in NORTH CAROLINA and VIRGINIA. BETANEWS reports that at an early morning press conference, FCC Chairman JULIUS GENACHOWSKI and FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief JAMIE BARNETT gave a brief snapshot of HURRICANE IRENE's effect on communications networks in the Atlantic coastal area.
Wireline: 12,000 are out of service -- 8,000 in NC, 4,000 in VA.
Switches: 3 small wireline switches are down in SOUTH CAROLINA. No wireless switches down.
Cell sites: 130 cell sites, mostly in coastal NC are down. 215 cell sites are on backup power, which might also go down if not reprovisioned soon.
Cable: 5,000 cable TV subscribers are out of service in NORTH CAROLINA.
More outages are expected as the storm heads north up the EAST COAST through MARYLAND, DELAWARE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, RHODE ISLAND and MASSACHUSETTS.
Sinclair Stays On The Air
With NORFOLK in the path of the storm, SINCLAIR COMMUNICATIONS simulcasted live and local wall-to-wall coverage on Talk WNIS-A and Adult Hits WNOB (BOB FM)/NORFOLK-VIRGINIA BEACH-NEWPORT NEWS, VA. Sister WROX APD and cluster Imaging Dir. JAMES STEELE told ALL ACCESS that air shifts are being manned "by a number of different on-air staff members, including our in house meteorologist DAVE PARKER. In the event HURRICANE IRENE knocks out one of our signals, we will move the simulcast to the other frequencies. 96X, US 1061, and FUNNY 8500-A are running updates from the NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER.
"Our studios are located in downtown NORFOLK right on the ELIZABETH RIVER," he continued. "The river is about to come up over the board walk, and heavy flooding is expected throughout our area. We are on generator and also on the fifth floor, so flooding won't be a problem up here."