Parts of the FLORIDA PANHANDLE and surrounding GULF COAST are bracing for a direct hit from HURRICANE MICHAEL as early as TOMORROW (10/10). According to ACCUWEATHER, "MICHAEL is forecast to reach Category 3 hurricane strength with winds of 111-130 mph. However, some fluctuation in strength is likely prior to and during landfall."
Tampa Catches A Break
Mindful of the potential for flooding from HURRICANE MICHAEL's storm surge, particularly in low-lying areas, COX/TAMPA OM/Dir. Branding/Programming RICK THOMAS checked in with ALL ACCESS saying, "Looks like MICHAEL isn't making a turn towards us so although TAMPA BAY will get some wind and rain, hopefully it's just a bad hair day.
"Our eyes now look to the north around PANAMA CITY and TALLAHASSEE. That's where any relief efforts will be needed. Our station plans become how to help our neighbors depending on need. Water, ice, baby supplies are being amassed."
iHEARTMEDIA SVP/Programming TOMMY CHUCK noted, "While the storm isn't directly going to hit the TAMPA BAY AREA, our team has been actively providing important weather/storm prep information to listeners since last week.
"There are a few school systems closed and some sandbag distribution points in the NORTHERN and COASTAL AREAS we cover. Our team from 970 WFLA is also on standby to assist other iHEARTMEDIA markets more directly impacted in case they need help."
Mobile, AL — Not A Direct Hit, But Close To The Path
iHEARTMEDIA Country WKSJ/MOBILE, AL PD BILL BLACK noted, "Yes we actually have contingency plans depending on the path of every storm. In the case of HURRICANE MICHAEL our goal is to keep our listeners aware of the storm's path, how it will affect our local weather, and when and if any closures or cancellations are occurring.
"We will increase the number of weather broadcasts and alerts we air hourly, and my web team constantly updates our site with any weather info, and traffic issues related to the weather, (street closing), and a list of all closures and cancellations. We also increase the use of our local TV partner, NBC 15 in this case, and use their meteorologist on air all day to update listeners on the storm’s path and what effects it will have on our local weather. Since this storm may have a big effect on our local waterways, we will pull reporters from our TV partner and air their local reports during the day.
"In this case, since our area is not in the direct path of the storm, we will keep listeners updated, but we do not wish to blow things out of proportion. We never want to be the 'Boy that cried Wolf', if you know what I mean.
By adding extra weathercasts in our syndicated program, like THE BOBBY BONES SHOW, and offering more information every hour of the day, I feel we give our audience what they want and need to know. Of course if the storm’s path changes, we are prepared to go all hands on deck, and offer around the clock local coverage with the aid of all station personnel in our cluster and our TV partner.
CUMULUS MEDIA Urban WBLX/MOBILE, AL PD E.J GREIG told ALL ACCESS: "We really are not in the path here in MOBILE. The storm surge will effect low areas like DAUPHIN ISLAND. We are keeping folks in THE PANHANDLe informed with updates as needed by our TV partner WKRG.
"If HURRICANE MICHAEL does swing more our way, we have staff in the building and will work closer with WKRG TV. We are prepared to go wall-to-wall storm info if necessary. We get a lot of practice here on the GULF COAST."
Published at Tue, 09 Oct 2018 13:04:46 +0000