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Stations grapple with aftermath of Katrina; NAB solicits help

WLOX in Biloxi, MS, sustained serious damage from Hurricane Katrina but remained on air following the disaster on back up power.

Although the WLOX building lost sections of its roof — over the newsroom and sales department — and the collapse of an unused transmission tower, no on-duty station personnel were injured in hurricane.

On its Web site, WLOX station manager Dave Vincent described the damage to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi as “catastrophic.” Following the destruction, two-way voice communications with the outside world was limited to Ham radio and a single satellite phone.

Vincent’s Web post said there was a Ham operator at WLOX with the call sign WX5AAA.

WLOX broadcasts to Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula, MS.

In New Orleans, portions of which had filled with 20ft of water, television stations sought temporary quarters. CBS affiliate WWL-TV moved its studios to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge Aug. 28. Hearst Argyle-owned NBC affiliate WDSU broadcast from a sister station in Jackson, MS.

On Aug. 30, the NAB said local radio and TV stations across the country were partnering with the American Red Cross to provide public service announcements that advise citizens how to donate money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Additionally, NAB asked its members to donate much needed equipment to the television and radio stations affected by the hurricane.

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