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Christian Radio Hurricane Update

From Jon Hamilton of WSCF/Christian FM in Vero Beach, Florida:

Still digging out here. Some roads still under water. Most businesses closed, but a few have started to open. Most of us have power now, but a few staffers do not. Turns out we took some damage at WSCF. Wound up blowing out our main tube in the process…(anybody got a 4cx3500a Eimac they’re willing to sell reasonably? Our transmitter just doesn’t like the knockoff brand we had as a spare.) WSCF is at 10% power till we can get parts.

Curiously, shipping is an issue. Post office still closed. Fed Ex will hopefully return to us tomorrow. Even Amazon won’t promise delivery of simple Prime items before Sept 22. Crazy! Thank God our CFM Network isn’t dependent on us to operate! Also, we’ve indefinitely postponed our pledge drive planned at WSCF for next week.

From Jayar Reeves at The JOY FM/Tampa

Hey Ted This is not an official statement from THE JOYFM. Just a quick note to let you know how everyone is. We are on air from South Florida through Tampa Bay and to the top of Florida but also on in Macon and Atlanta. So our entire listening audience was in Irma’s path. The bottom line is… it looked really really bad. Some of our staff evacuated.

Myself, Carmen and Bill Martin were on the air together all day as Irma started approaching. To be honest there were a lot of scared people. Those of us that stayed banded together and helped each other out. As gusts started hitting the station… Bill, Carmen and I all gave each other a hug and said a prayer and decided we had stayed live on mic long enough and it was time to go get safe. I think the listeners needed the prayers and the scriptures and the light hearted humor as Irma approached.

After we had to go hunker down… Rob Langer, Jerry Williams, and Benji Shepherd took over from our Atlanta studio broadcasting into Florida as the storm was hitting. When the morning came… there was relief. We had been spared by the worst. Downed trees and power outages were nothing compared to what we thought was going to happen. Engineers had us pretty much on air the next morning on most frequencies.

I was the only one that didn’t lose power along with Hitch the Morning Cruise’s producer. So we raced to the station past downed trees and power lines and we were able to be on air throughout the day. The odd thing is… our Macon and Atlanta listeners were now getting what we survived. So we were able to give info to those listeners who had over a million outages and downed trees. My Atlanta producer Benji (DJ Frappichino) braved the tropical storm to be in the building and get us on air from his studio.

I am on air now. But most the staff still doesn’t have power. Proud of our staff and thankful to God that we were spared what the Keys and Cuba and other islands had to endure. Thanks to everyone for every prayer

From WAY FM Southwest Florida Station Manager Tom Sullivan:

My team is all ok. Our studio has power, no Internet. Neither of my tower sites have power. Florida Power and Light estimates they will have everyone’s power back on in the Fort Myers and Naples area by Sept 22nd at the latest. Not much to report, I’m afraid. Almost 85% of our listening area is without power.

From WHIF/Palatka Station Manager Robin Robinson:

Much of our town still without power. Thankfully not a lot of major damage. Lots of trees and power lines down, and some flooding. We were off the air a day a half because of power outages. Two staff members and their families had to evacuate and stayed at the radio station. 

From Davis Watts WBVM/Tampa:

We are doing great. The station is located high and dry but in an area of Tampa that typically floods. A hand full of staff members actually used the station as a shelter during the storm after being evacuated from their homes. It was a little like Noah’s ark, we had 3 dogs and a Macaw in addition to the human refugees. We are all blessed that no one on staff suffered any major damage to our property. Spirit FM is a weather partner of our local NBC affiliate. When the storm got close to Tampa we carried their live coverage for around 12 hours so that anyone who lost power could stay updated via their battery powered radio. We were fortunate and did not lose our signal through the entire storm. Now we are working with local ministries to serve our community. Our morning show host and some friends made 200 pb&js today and she and I will be delivering them to a local tent city tomorrow.

From Jim Epperlein with Prazor in Vero Beach, FL:

From what I’ve heard and seen my PRAZOR staff is doing fine and all of our homes survived with no major damage. God has been good to us. While our work property was flooded, the interior remained dry. For safety sake we shut down PRAZOR and TRUNEWS last Wednesday as we were ordered to evacuate. PRAZOR’s back on the air now and we thank our listeners for their prayers, their concern and their patience.

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