The NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER officially logged HURRICANE IDA’s landfall near PORT FOURCHON, LA on SUNDAY (8/29) at 1p (CT) as a Category 4 storm with winds of 150 mph.
IDA then began her gusty and rainy NORTHEAST track, moving through LOUISIANA, into MISSISSIPPI, grazing Northwest ALABAMA and on into middle TENNESSSEE by late morning on TUESDAY (8/31), where flash flood watches and warnings are in effect according to the NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER.
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Striking on the 16th anniversary of the devastating HURRICANE KATRINA which made landfall near NEW ORLEANS on AUGUST 29th, 2005, killing 1,800 and causing billions in damage, HURRICANE IDA is “tied as the state’s most powerful storm ever with LAURA from last year and the LAST ISLAND HURRICANE of 1856,” according to CNN.
Over the weekend, ALL ACCESS has been in touch with many broadcasters who have all indicated their local market readiness to broadcast lifesaving information to their listeners and be a conduit for help and relief plans.
Reports From Near Landfall
iHEARTMEDIA/LOUISIANA Metro Markets Area SVPP BOB MURPHY told ALL ACCESS, “Our teams are in the midst of coverage in both NEW ORLEANS and BATON ROUGE right now and hyper focused on the storm’s passage. EVPP ANGELA WATSON-CHARLES and I are honored to be resourced with passionate local air talent, TV partners, and the robust services of our iHEART 24/7 News Team. At the moment, all stations are on air, some transmitter sites via generator. All broadcasts are being simulcast on our iHEARTRADIO app to keep local listeners and their families and friends across the country up to date. We are also connecting via social media.
“As of 2p (CT), (8/29), about 203,000 listeners are without electricity in the NEW ORLEANS metro. Winds will continue to increase through the next several hours, followed by BATON ROUGE into the overnight hours. We still have a long way to go, and are prepared to continue service through aftermath coverage.”
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‘We All Work For WWL When It Comes To This’
AUDACY Top 40 WEZB/NEW ORLEANS PD and Regional VP/Top 40 for WEZB, WNVZ/NORFORLK, WRVQ/RICHMOND, WKRZ/WILKES-BARRE, PA TOM “JAMMER” NAYLOR reported to ALL ACCESS, “There are always three parts to a hurricane:
- The build-up — where is it going, how powerful will it be, where and when to evacuate?
- When the storm hits … information is key. Power outages, safety issues, flooding, etc.
- After the storm … Recovery… Depending on the level of the storm. This is the lifeline of local radio. This is when people need to be informed and need the local information now.
“Nobody does this better time-after-time and situation after situation than DIANE NEWMAN and the team at WWL-A/NEW ORLEANS. “Fortunately, or unfortunately, they have the most experience and know exactly how to execute this herculean task. We all work for WWL when it comes to this. As of NOON (CDT) (8/29), the music brands WEZB, AC WLMG and Classic Rock WKBU are simulcasting WWL. It’s such an incredible nucleus of people, between KEVIN CASSIDY, DIANE NEWMAN and team AUDACY/NEW ORLEANS has it covered!”
Country superstar JASON ALDEAN had to cancel a show planned for SATURDAY night (8/28) in ORANGE BEACH, AL as a result of the then impending storm. It was to have been the second night of ALDEAN’S two-night stint at the WHARF AMPHITHEATRE, along with support acts HARDY, LAINEY WILSON and DEE JAY SILVER, as part of his “Back In The Saddle Tour.” ALDEAN performed as scheduled on FRIDAY (8/27). The second show has been rescheduled for OCTOBER 31st.