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Storm damages WIUV tower, Haskell

By Nicole Webster
On November 14, 2017

Maintenance crew members survey the damage done to Haskell Hall and the WIUV tower after the major windstorm earlier this month. Photo by Adam Cook. 

When the windstorm whipped through campus on Monday, Oct. 30, the roof of Haskell was damaged along with the WIUV tower getting knocked out.

Toné Sawyer was the first person to notice the tower was gone. The power was down, so he went to the station to get everything back up and running. On the walk back to his dorm, he looked up and noticed the tower was missing.

Sawyer was shocked to see that the tower was no longer standing atop Haskell Hall.

“Bad words. So many thoughts were running through my head. Who’s going to pay for this? What’s is going to cost?” Sawyer said.

He knew he had to tell someone, so he took action.

“I texted the general manager, then Sam Green, then Mariah O’Hara and the rest of the executive board for the station and ran to see Dean Proulx in a span of five minutes,” Sawyer said.

He also had to go back to the station to see what he could get running. It was only a few hours before they were back online.

The tower being gone was definitely noticeable for other members of the WIUV board as well.

“It was weird. I haven’t been up to look at the tower. I don’t think any of us have been on the roof of Haskell. Usually the tower is pretty visible and it wasn’t there. I knew it was down but I was like ‘that isn’t normal.’ It didn’t look right. Haskell doesn’t look right without that tower,” secretary for WIUV Adam Cook said.

The general manager for the station, William Chmielewski, expected the worst when he heard about the tower being down.

“I was concerned about the station and what would need to be done to fix the issue. I was hoping it wasn’t bad, but was expecting the worst,” Chmielewski said.

Sawyer was getting the station as far out as the Dollar General in Castleton, but they haven’t really tested it since the damage.

Cook saw people working on the top of Haskell and took a picture of it.

None of the members currently know how much the damage will cost the club or the school because they haven’t had a board meeting yet.

On Nov. 9, WIUV was taken off the air because some new issues came up.

“They were on the air until yesterday. Yesterday with the roof repairs they had to unplug the antenna,” Dean of Students Dennis Proulx said.

The extent of damage is unknown to the antenna because they need an engineer to determine whether or not it is okay. The station can be off the air for up to 30 days before needing to let the FCC know, but they would like to get up and running soon since they are part of the Emergency Activation System, according to Proulx.

Sawyer heard rumors of around $70,000 in damage to the roof alone, but that’s just a rumor, so they’re hoping to find out exactly the cost at the next meeting.

Proulx doesn’t yet have an estimate for the damage to Haskell either.

 

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