Hurricane Irene Downgraded As It Moves Past New York; Radio Comes Through
August 28, 2011 at 7:00 PM (PT)
HURRICANE IRENE came and went, downgraded to a tropical storm, in NEW YORK this morning, leaving millions without power and flooding, but faster-than-anticipated movement of the storm left damage less than feared. Over a half-million customers lost power in NEW JERSEY, almost 400,000 were in the dark in NEW YORK state (mostly on LONG ISLAND), and over a quarter-million were without power in CONNECTICUT.
The storm has been blamed for at least 18 deaths so far. Tornadoes were reported in DELAWARE and MARYLAND, and significant damage was sustained in NORTH CAROLINA and VIRGINIA, where over one million customers lost power. Residents in the affected areas are being warned that more damage may come as the water in rivers crests in two to three days.
New York Radio (Mostly) Stays On
As the storm hit the NEW YORK area, NEW YORK PUBLIC RADIO Talk WNYC-A lost power due to flooding at its KEARNY, NJ transmitter site. Sister Talk WNYC-F and Classical WQXR remained on the air, and the station's Internet stream continued in operation. Reports indicate that SALEM Religion WMCA-A may also have beenn knocked off the air. Other stations in NEW YORK remained on the air throughout the storm, with CITADEL Talk WABC-A/NEW YORK's programming carried on the signal of sister Hot AC WPLJ and CBS RADIO News WINS-A simulcast briefly on sister AC WWFS (102.7 FRESH FM) as well.
KISS 95.7/Hartford Keeps The Light On
Up in CONNECTICUT, CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40/Mainstream WKSS (KISS 95.7)/HARTFORD PD STAN PRIEST and OM MIKE WHEELER have been overseeing live coverage since 8p SATURDAY night, backed by a full air staff. "When 500,000+ households in CT lost power, we were there for them," PRIEST tells ALL ACCESS. "We had a partnership with NBC/CONNECTICUT and jointly covered wall-to-wall. I am extremely proud of the entire crew for getting in to the building early -- people that were on vacation came back in to help -- riding out the storm together to spread the word and help CONNECTICUT prepare and guide them through this unique event."
Pacifica's WBAI Gets Help From KPFK's Harrison
PACIFICA noncommercial Variety WBAI/NEW YORK got help from sister KPFK/LOS ANGELES host CARY HARRISON, who stepped in to host eight hours of non-stop, live emergency content while WBAI's studios were under mandatory evacuation orders. Working from his home studio in WEST HOLLYWOOD, HARRISON corralled continuous live interviews with meteorologists, scientists, and nuclear experts plus live listener call-ins, updates from the Mayor's office, and information from emergency management officials. The station also offered a video stream with continuous mapping of the storm system and streamed HARRISON's show online.
Report From Central Jersey
ALL ACCESS' DAVE HOEFFEL in hard-hit central NEW JERSEY reports that all stations receivable in that area, including the NEW YORK and PHILADELPHIA stations, appear to be on the air, but NEW JERSEY's major radio information outlet, TOWNSQUARE MEDIA Talk WKXW (NEW JERSEY 101.5)/TRENTON, ran a carrier with no programming for a few hours; the station is, however, streaming online, and service was restored on-air at about 2p (ET) SUNDAY. He also notes that CLEAR CHANNEL AC WISX (MIX 106.1)/PHILADELPHIA is airing the audio of ABC O&O WPVI-TV (6ABC).
TV Before Radio For Gov. Christie
NEW JERSEY Governor CHRIS CHRISTIE wasn't quite as upbeat about the need for radio in emergencies as others might be; TVNEWSER.COM reports that CHRISTIE, asked whether he regrets going on national TV first after the storm rather than on local radio for the benefit of those without power listening on battery-powered receivers, abruptly said "No," shook his head, and said "next question."
Salem Engineer's Truck Damaged
Meanwhile, in RICHMOND, SALEM RADIO NETWORK WASHINGTON Bureau Chief Engineer DAVE TERRY found his truck crunched by a fallen tree. SRN VP of News & Talk Programming TOM TRADUP reports that the staff will hold a "Goodnight, IRENE" bake sale to help pay for the damage.
Hot 100.5's Corey Gets His Cantore On
MAX BROADCAST GROUP Top 40 WVHT (HOT 100.5)/NORFOLK-VIRGINIA BEACH's COREY posted a video of himself doing a JIM CANTORE-like walk in the station parking lot during the storm; see it by clicking here.
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