October 2012
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A day in Pictures

The aftermath:

Long beach

Long beach, this used to be an isthums, now it is a sand bar

A set of old stairs

A set of old stairs on the beach where the cottages used to be located.



100 lb propane tanks

Found the reason why the generator is not running

Propane tanks adrift

Propane tanks adrift from storm surge. There was a strong propane smell around these tanks, I secured all the valves.

WICC propane tank pad

Where the propane tanks should be

debris washed ashore during storm surge

Debris washed ashore during storm surge around north tower, including a section of dock

Second high tide after Hurricane Sandy, noon on Tuesday

Second high tide after Hurricane Sandy, noon on Tuesday, flooding ground system

three phase power line down

Three phase power line down due to wind

Three phase power line down

More wind damaged power lines

Telco wires taken down by trees

Telco wires taken down by trees

Generator room water level, as seen on the side of the battery

Generator room water level, as seen on the side of the battery

More work here tomorrow.

Update: Took longer than anticipated, but the station is back on the air with generator power as of 8:15 am, Thursday (11/1).  Commercial power restoration is not expected until Monday or Tuesday at the earliest.

Update: Commercial power restored on Thursday, 11/8 for a total outage of 10 days.  One good thing about incidents like this, I now have a fresh set of contacts for all the important people connected to servicing this site.

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8 comments to A day in Pictures

  • I always loved seeing those beautiful towers from I-95, Is it true they were originally from John Shepards WNAC before the the Blaw Knox Diamond shaped tower
    was installed in Squantum (before the 3 tower Montclair site and move to 1260) which I have quite a few pictures of this site even the Western Electric transmitters for WNAC 1230 series fed and WAAB 1410 shunt fed.

  • Paul, It makes me appreciate all the stations I’ve ever engineered I never had one affected this badly due to weather or other Acts of God. I’m sure it will keep you and your co-workers quite busy getting everything back into some semblance of order.

  • […] with sister WIBG-FM (94.3 Avalon). In Connecticut, Paul Thurst’s Engineering Radio blog provides details (and pictures) of the destruction at WICC (600) off the coast in Bridgeport: propane tanks went […]

  • Bob M.

    I did some work at another coastal station Wednesday. They had already removed any equipment possible from the bottom of the racks and sitting low, but it’s hard to elevate an MW1 and old Gates phasor cabinet. The water was 5 inches deep INSIDE the building. Took out the control relays in the phasor. We tried cleaning all of them but a fuse blew when we tried it (although it did work) and with no diagram for the whole panel we’ll just start over from scratch. Haven’t looked into the MW1 yet but we did flush the bottom out with distilled water, then 91% alcohol, and left with two large blowers aimed at it to dry it out. Never lost power. Of course the antenna bases were submerged but the water didn’t get into the ATUs; they were up high enough.

    I myself lost power Tuesday morning at 4:15 followed by loss of cable service. My generator ran until 7:15pm Wednesday.

  • Paul Thurst

    @ Chris, you have the history correct, the towers were made by Miliken in 1926. I believe they originally supported a T top antenna, as was used back in the day before series excited towers were employed.
    @ Bill, thanks. It has been a trying few days, but listening to the station as a drove away, I can tell that the community around WICC really appreciates the station.
    @ Bob, been there and did it (although not at this site). Fortunately, the designers of this site thought enough to put the transmitter room about 5-6 feet above ground level. Ground level at this site is 13 feet, thus the transmitter and phasor are 18-19 feet above mean sea level. I dread the day we have to rebuild the phasor at this site.

  • Rob

    Looks like tank securing clamps are in order. I guess one good thing about propane is there is no oil slick to clean up. How many tank changes are needed to get through the next week on the generator?

  • Paul Thurst

    Rob, we are refueling today, so there will be some off air time while tanks are swapped out. we are making tank clamps, which will be installed soon. We also need to replace some shingles on the roof.

  • Bob M.

    Yup, those tanks float, full or empty. I hope your tank clamps will hold them DOWN, as well as TO the wall of the building, into the studs. Of course, if you can elevate the tanks high enough (and how high is “enough”) you’d be better off.

    Propane gas (and I think natural gas as well) is heavier than air, so it sinks to the ground. Many gas storage facilities have huge gravel pits around the tanks to absorb the vapors. Of course the wind in a storm would blow any vapors around.

    There may be some sort of safety valve you can put onto the tanks that will shut off if the outlet tube breaks free. I think natural gas lines have such a valve so if the meter is removed, the gas doesn’t shoot out at high pressure.

    Of course, if the facility was reachable by propane delivery trucks, you could anchor a large tank to the ground, but when you have to take the tanks to the mainland to fill them, they have to be a manageable size. I bet it’ll be hard to float a bucket truck over there to re-string the power lines.

    I’m heading down to my previously mentioned facility Tuesday to try to get the MW1 and phasor control system working.

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