Saturday's In-House Activity

>> Sunday, July 23, 2006

A lot was going on behind the scenes here at News 14 Carolina last night as we were bringing you severe weather coverage. First of all, it was quite impressive to watch the complex of storms move into the heart of Charlotte from our Y camera. Quite ominous to watch the sky scrapers disappear as the storm descended on the area in the midst of strobe light-like lightning.

We have a large window in our weather office. The curtain was down as the storm moved in, but I noticed I could here the wind whistling at the window while I was talking on the air. First time I have heard that since I came to News 14. So, at the next opportunity, I walked over to one of our doors and took a look out....I estimate the wind had to be gusting at least 50-60mph. At that point, we took one power hit. I was then back on the air broadcasting live when we took a much more substantial power hit...this one knocked out the Y cam.

Very soon after that, there was a very distinct smell of something burning inside the building....something of an electrical nature burning. There was some concern that there was actually a fire inside the building....in fact, it appears some fire alarms were triggered on the other side of the building from News 14. So, we were all evaluating things to make sure there was not an actual fire in the building, all the while, severe weather coverage continued.

Several rook leaks developed, and the wind actually blew hard enough to blow a good deal of water under a door and into one of our hallways and puddle it up. The basement had some flooding issues as well.

Ever since that power hit, we were actually running off of our back-up power supply. Many thanks to Jim Travers, our Operations Manager, for coming in, checking everything out, and getting us back on regular power. Turns out we were probably less than 5 minutes from the back-up power supply running out.

I want you to know, in spite of several distractions, everyone here remained focused on the task at hand....walking you through the storms and providing you with timely information. Everyone here did an excellent job of making my job easy. Many thanks from me.

Turns out, our building took a lightning strike. Lightning traveled down into a circuit box, blew open the door, and exploded a bunch of stuff (notice the technical term there) all over the room. That was the source of the burning smell.

At any rate, thank you to all of you for trusting us to bring you timely weather information. It is not a priviledge we take lightly, and for those of us in the weather department, it is our chief committment to you.

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