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August 25, 2015 11:49 am  #1

When Radio Goes Above & Beyond The Call In An Emergency

You'll be reading and seeing a lot of material on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in the coming days, but this one illustrates why terrestrial radio is still the go-to medium when things get insane. It's from the BBC and tells the amazing story of how WWL, the 50K blowtorch in New Orleans, was the only lifeline for millions of people desperate for information during one of the worst disasters of the new century. 

Part of the focus is on newsman Dave Cohen, who hunkered down in a bunker and stayed on the air while the world was coming to an end outside. WWL stayed on FM, but when the stronger AM signal went down, they were forced to try and fix it. What happened next was above and beyond the call of duty. Gotta wonder how many of us would have done this: 

"After the worst of the storm had passed, Dave got the go-ahead to leave the bunker, and travelled with an engineer, Dominic Mitchum, to the WWL transmitter site.It wasn't far, but the only way the pair could reach it was by wading through water waist deep, including a swamp filled with alligators and snakes. As the men took precautions to avoid the reptiles' slippery advances, they were attacked by a cluster of floating fire ants."

If you're into radio history, this is an amazing read, that also includes dozens of pictures and lots of audio. 

WWL & Hurricane Katrina

Last edited by RadioActive (August 25, 2015 11:52 am)