Winter Storm 1999

WFRN welcomed in its 20th year with a snowstorm! On January 2nd a large winter storm hit, stretching across the entire listening area from Kalamazoo to Kokomo and beyond. Don Wagner, Andrew Patton, Jacob Derkach and Greg Ostrum covered the arrival of the storm on Saturday afternoon into the overnight hours, with Andrew and Jacob staying at the station through the overnight hours while the roads were closed through Sunday Morning. Meanwhile, snowed in at home, James Bellaire kept listeners updated through the website, helping listeners who had trouble receiving the station due to the strength of the storm.

On Sunday we managed to change shifts with Bob Collier, Jeremy Taylor and Jim Carter making it to the station and continuing coverage as school and business closings began to pour in. Don Wagner was snowed in at home but still reported on conditions across the listening area by telephone. Late in the evening as the county plows were being pulled off the roads for the night, James Bellaire arrived to host the overnight and keep listeners updated.

Monday morning and the roads were still officially closed. Dale Reese and Mark Lawrence took over the reigns. The school closing list was easy, as entire counties were closed to all except emergency traffic. But WFRN had over three minutes worth of business and church closings.

As the day progressed the weather report did not look much better. No new snow, but bitter temperatures and windchills reaching nearly 40 below zero. Counties were reopened, but conditions were still severe enough to close many schools and businesses for Tuesday.

Tuesday morning and life at the station was getting back to normal, still a few counties worth of school closings all over our listening area, but most businesses were back to work. WFRN continued to report school and business closings for Wednesday. And the forecast was calling for more snow ...

Thank You
Over the four day period over 3500 visitors checked out the WFRN.COM website. Over 500 came on Saturday night, a record 1206 on Sunday, and 1003 on Monday. 863 more visitors came on Tuesday, then we recieved the largest surprise to date, a new record 1571 on Wednesday. In the first six days of January, you the WFRN web visitor, surpassed the previous record month (December). The final total for January was 15190, plus we had literally hundreds of closings called in to the station.

WFRN thanks its listeners and website visitors for making our efforts worthwhile, and the churches, businesses and schools that trust WFRN to spread the word. WFRN also thanks God for allowing us to stay on the air during the severe weather.

Behind the scenes ...

General Manager Ed Moore prepares
to shovel the big drift by the front door
before staff return.

Camping in the conference room.
Andrew, Jacob, and Jim know this equipment well.

Here to help - Handsome Bob Collier

A closing list at 2am? Must be James Bellaire

Don Wagner at work in the newsroom

Our remote van - anyone have a shovel?

Bev (traffic director)
(photo taken last summer)

Jean (accounts payable)

Teri (receptionist)

Jan Lange of our sales staff

Bob Dawson (business manager)

Roger Booth (operations manager)


Family Album for 1999
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