The devastation of the New Jersey shore from Sandy has been horrific and through “heroic efforts,” dedicated and resourceful engineers local Greater Media engineers have been able to keep the company’s six New Jersey stations on the air.
That’s according to Greater Media Vice President of Engineering Milford Smith who told Radio World all transmitter sites and studio location are still operating on generator power and may be for at least a week or more.
In a note Smith shared with Greater Media engineers company-wide, he describes what it took to keep the New Jersey stations on-air:
“Kudos to Keith Smeal, who was able to resuscitate the previously submerged WCTC(AM) site” by late yesterday afternoon. There was 27 inches of water in the transmitter room and the generator was underwater as well.
“For those of you not familiar with the site,” Smith writes, “the tower is built on an elevated pier (20') and the building is on built higher ground. It takes a huge rise in the adjacent Raritan River to inundate the site but Sandy was up to the task. WCTC soldiered on during that time via its auxiliary site at the studio location (shunt feed of FM tower). Pretty darn impressive!”
Smith goes onto credit fellow engineer Bill Clanton at WJRZ(FM) “who, upon failure of a fan clutch on the WJRZ studio generator, rigged a water spray arrangement to keep the radiator cool and the generator running.” Clanton did this “while trapped at the site by trees and wires across the only access road.”
He also cites Jason at WDHA “who continues to hand carry five gallon diesel fuel cans into the mountain top site as the access road is blocked by multiple downed power poles.”
His team has not had time to assess other damage to properties however Smith notes a lot of trees are down at or near these facilities and there will likely be more damage to repair.
On a personal note, a number of Greater Media have experienced the loss of their homes and personal possessions. “It is to their credit that they soldiered on during and in the aftermath of this massive storm,” notes Smith.