January 7, 2016 — It has been an abnormally warm winter in the Northeast and the storm that kicked up last week was not severe. But the antenna on a broadcast tower owned by an independent radio station snapped as the ice storm blew through Manchester, Vermont. The 75-foot guyed tower owned by WEQX, stood atop 3,855-foot Mount Equinox broadcasted at 1,250 watts to the parts of Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York State.
“The storm wasn’t as bad as some others that we have seen. But it was freezing rain, so it stuck to the pole. Inches of ice stuck to the pole. Plus high winds didn’t play well for the pole,” Bear Gritt, WEQX engineer, told AGL Link.
The transmitter is in perfect working condition, but the antenna and tuner were smashed. Getting a temporary transmitter up the mountain won’t be easy as the only road is closed for the winter. But the radio station, which is currently only streaming its signal of alternative rock, plans to be back on the air by the end of this week using a temporary tower.
“Thankfully we planned for this and had a backup antenna,” Gritt said. “Yes, we are waiting until Spring for the rebuild but getting everything in order now.”