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FCC Rolling Tally: Quarter of Florida Cell Sites Out, Three TV Stations Off Air

WASHINGTON—Hurricane Irma took its toll on TV and radio broadcasters in Florida and the Caribbean with nine television and 51 radio stations being knocked off air, according to a Sept. 12 running total from the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System.

Spanish-language WVFW, the Liberman Broadcasting-owned low-power station in Miami; public broadcaster WGCU, licensed to Fort Myers, Fla.; and WSBS, the Spanish Broadcasting System-owned flagship station in Key West, Fla., as well as four stations in Puerto Rico –WOST, WMEI, WQQZ and WWKQ– and two U.S. Virgin Island stations –WTJX-TV and W05AWD– are off air as of Sept. 12 taken off air as a result of the storm, the FCC said.

About 7.2 million cable TV subscribers also are without service in the wake of Hurricane Irma, the FCC said.

Nearly one-quarter of cellular phone sites were out of service throughout Florida as of publication of the Sept. 12 FCC tally. In Puerto Rico, 14.5 percent of the sites were down, and in the U.S. Virgin Islands 53.8 percent of cell sites were out.

Florida counties where cell phone sites are hardest hit include: Collier, 72.6 percent knocked out; Hendry, 78.3 percent; Highlands, 53.8 percent; Monroe, 82.4 percent; and Union, 53.8 percent as of Sept. 12, the report said.

The FCC has been releasing updated figures daily. The numbers reported here represent the situation as of 11 a.m. ET on Sept. 12.

It should also be noted that the situation is fluid. Stations and other communications providers drop off the list and new ones are added as more information becomes available.