Three TV Stations Report Outages; 315,000 Without Cable TV Service in Wake of Florence, Says Report

WASHINGTON-- The latest FCC status report on the impact of Hurricane Florence on communications infrastructure and services in the four states affected by the storm shows three TV stations being knocked off air and some 315,000 cable TV and wireline customers being without service.

The Sept. 18 edition of the report, “Communications Status Report for Areas Impacted by Hurricane Florence,” detailing outages in Georgia, North and South Carolina and Virginia, reveals that three TV stations are dark. They are WHFL-CD, a religious Class A low-power station in Goldsboro, N.C.; WTNG-CD, the Dilicast Broadcast Service-owned multicaster in Lumberton-Pembroke, N.C.; and WYDO the Cunningham-owned, Sinclair-operated Fox affiliate licensed to Greenville-Washington-New Bern-Jacksonville, N.C.

Forty-two TV stations in the area affected by the storm report being operational as of Sept. 18, the report says.

Cable TV system and wireline customers in the region also have taken a hit in North and South Carolina with 285,725 and 30,053 losing service, respectively, it says. These outages may include TV, internet and/or telephone service.

Further, it states 22 FM stations are reporting being out of service, and four FM stations reported being down but sending programming to another station. Four AM radio stations in the area reported being out of service.

The report also details 911 and cell phone site outages in the affected areas. As of Sept. 18, 4.1 percent of cell sites were out of service. There were no outages in Virginia and only 0.1 percent of sites out in Georgia. South Carolina cell site outages are low as well, with 0.5 percent reported being down.

However, in North Carolina 8 percent of cell sites are out with the counties of Columbus, Onslow and Pender reporting more than 30 percent of sites being down.

Concerning 911 service, the report shows two Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) in North Carolina and one in South Carolina have rerouted calls to another PSAP in the wake of the storm.

A report on the status of communications infrastructure in the affected area for Sept. 19 is expected to be released today.

More information is available on the FCC website.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.