So How Did Radio Perform During Storm?
It was just another day at the office for radio stations all long the east coast this past weekend. The Internet made it very easy to monitor storm coverage as Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene came ashore this past weekend. And, admittedly, living in South Florida, it was a little odd listening to stations in New York City and D.C. and Long Island as the snowstorm communities were dealing with a weather event typically reserved for us. However, it's going to be hard to do the industry justice because so many stations we listened to did an excellent job there's no doubt many will be left out of the praise.
As expected stations informed the public by carrying live newscasts from public officials and taking calls from and interacting with listeners. On-air personalities usually relegated to a line or two between songs were interacting with people in the eye of the storm, even if it was and small eye. And, just a thought. When I turned on my favorite Pandora station, all my songs were still playing. Just my songs.
The FCC reported only 3 stations would wind up being knocked off the air as a result of the storm (see flood pictures below of Cumulus which stayed on the air). Despite the early warnings being issued by local governments - and carried live by most radio stations - 21 deaths are attributed to the storm included six in North Carolina, four in Virginia, four in Pennsylvania, two in New York, two in rough surf in Florida and one each in Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey.
New York lifted its evacuation order for 370,000 people and said subway service, shut down for the first time by a natural disaster, will be partially restored today, though it warned riders to expect long lines and long waits. Philadelphia restarted its trains and buses. "All in all," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "we are in pretty good shape." In those major metropolitan cities, CBS's 1010 WINS and CBS-FM along with Merlin's FM News 101.9, Buckley's WOR and WABC were constantly providing storm coverage (just to name a few stations). We have more coverage on the storm coverage below.
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