WJZY and WMYT Recovering From Storm Damage

WJZY & WMYT storm damage
The severe storms that recently tore through Charlotte wreaked havoc on the grounds of WJZY & WMYT.

All was not so quiet on Sunday evening March 28, 2010, as a severe storm decided to wreak havoc through the WJZY/WMYT studios causing extensive damage to the huge trees on the property and the main building.   Luckily no one was hurt and although the building is still standing there was quite a bit of damage that took place around 5:30pm that night. 

Master Control operators peeked out the back door during the storm to see exactly what was going on but had to keep hold of the door so it wouldn’t blow all the way open. 

Several offices in the front of the building are off limits due to a massive oak tree striking the building and excessive water damage. 

Program Director Joe Heaton arrived Monday morning to find an addition to his office…a tree had blown through his window and was laying on his desk. Sunday night, VP/GM Shawn Harris called Heaton to tell him that fortunately the building was not damaged a great deal but unfortunately his office was one of the offices that “got it” worst of all. 

Joe Heaton's desk
WJZY’s Joe Heaton found an unscheduled visitor in his office: a tree.
WJZY & WMYT lost several trees that were hundreds of years old.

“When I saw the tree in my office the first thing I thought was that tree didn’t even have an appointment!” said Heaton.

The center of the building has skylights but now it has one less.  Directly under the skylight that blew off was Account Executive Cary Craig’s desk. 

“Now I can honestly say a tornado hit my desk if it looks a little untidy,” said Craig.  “Thankfully it happened on a weekend.  Staff and management worked quickly to set me up in a new cubicle and my files are drying out,” added Craig.

“Thanks to the fast response of our engineering team made up of Robert Castillo, Ed McKay and Keith Carroll, we had employees moved out of water damaged offices and into dry work spaces within an hour of the storm passing through,” said VP/GM Shawn Harris.  “The entire station has pulled together in overcoming the obstacles presented by the storm,” added Harris.

Some Facts From the Event:

Director of Engineering Robert Castillo and Senior Engineer Ed McKay took shifts for the first 48 hours after the storm to ensure that someone was in the building to monitor work crews at all times.

The storm video recorded by the stations three security cameras was picked up and aired by local stations as well as CNN and The Weather Channel.

The National Weather Service has asked for permission to use the security camera video in the training of their first responders.

WJZY and WMYT lost a total of 18 trees on the property from the storm and several of them were trees that had been here hundreds of years including an enormous magnolia tree.

Two satellite dishes were blown from the roof and into the parking lot below.  They traveled about 15 feet off the roof as they crashed below taking out our Pathfire and DG Systems connections..

Click here to see the video of the storm from one of the WJZY/WMYT security cameras as it ripped through…

Thanks to WJZY’s Angela Golden for this capcom story & these capcom photos & video.



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