We're back on the air tonight after evacuating our tv stations on Friday afternoon.
Low altitude winds and heavy snow caused a problem with our antenna tower.
As Friday's five o'clock news on WTVO was airing you may have noticed something strange happen. We went to commercial and didn't come back.
"Seeing the wires behave that way, in all the years that I've been here I've never seen them like that."
Heavy snow and low altitude winds caused the guy wires connected to our tv tower to bounce wildly, like a galloping horse. Chief Engineer Mike Real says that lets the tower sway dangerously in the wind.
"They could actually start shaking the tower down, or cause damage to the tower which is what we wanted to check on before we let people back in the building."
After the station was evacuated there was no one left to program what you see broadcast to your television. The engineering staff also chose to cut power to the station to protect the equipment.
"Since the station wasn't manned, we didn't want to have something short circuit, or if something did fall down."
A tower inspection team spent Sunday climbing 700 feet to the top. Examining the metal and bolts for the smallest problems.
"Anything from chipped paint to looking for bolts missing."
In a statement Station Vice President and General Manager Jon Skorburg says: "We are confident in the structural integrity of the tower, but we always want to err on the side of caution when it comes to safety of our staff as well as the safety of those living in the shadow of our tower. On behalf of both stations I would like to thank our viewers for their patience and support and look forward to getting things back to normal."
"As long as they're properly maintained, they can last for many many years."
Both stations were off the air again shortly while the tower crew climbed past the antennas. With their completed reports the stations are examining how to prevent this situation from happening again.