Published: Saturday, August 25, 2012
those days before Irene, I remember the work that went in to saving
as much as possible, and how quickly things came together. Sometimes
we forget that this wasn’t something we had weeks to plan for –
it was maybe 3 or 4 days. In the week before Irene, I was working
nights, and each day when I came in, more items were added to our
second floor offices as people worked hurriedly, in organized groups
clearing out the first floor of the church. Some things were stored
on the second floor, some were loaded into trailers and driven away.
All this was done not knowing if we would be hit or how much.
Friday night, August 26 I did my night show as usual. The plan was to
come back on Saturday and then evacuate by 3pm, but on Friday
afternoon Franklin Township changed its mind and wanted the campus
evacuated by noon. Curt and Ron (our engineers) set everything up at the bunker,
loaded the generator with fuel, and the next morning I met them up at
the bunker. I got on the air Saturday at 10am, and for the next 5
hours played music, provided comfort, and gave people as much
information as I could find. As the clouds gathered and the winds
started picking up on that mountain, I took calls from people urging
their neighbors to evacuate the shore and other flood prone
areas – not to try to stick things out. I gave people addresses of
shelters and reminded them that the threat was big enough to close
down the entire NY City subway system.
before 3:00, I signed off with the Casting Crowns song “Praise You
In This Storm.” I set the computer on auto-pilot and locked up the
bunker as the rain started to fall. A decision was made not to put
any of us in the bunker at the height of the storm, so no one would
be back until 6am on Monday.
What followed in the days and weeks ahead was nothing short of spectacular. Unable to get back to the flooded campus, people worked from the bunker, from a school building, from their house, anywhere they could to keep the station running. They made program logs, commercials, held sales meetings, and kept up on finances and office work often without seeing each other for months. When we moved in to the new building in February, it was like a big reunion. There were people I had e-mailed and even spoken with regularly, but literally hadn’t seen in 6 months. From the floods of Irene, God has blessed us with not only a new and beautiful location, but an understanding of how much can be done when people come together during extraordinarily trying times. We also understand what amazing people we work with.