Friday, July 02, 2004

TWR Guam recovers from Storm

TWR broadcasts to Asia from the island of Guam, in the Pacific. Typhoon Tingting dumped a lot of rain there this past weekend, causing mudslides, deaths, and downtime for our radio broadcasts. Guam got 38 inches of rain for the month of June, which was a record. 16 inches of that came on Sunday, with another 5 and a half inches on Monday.

The TWR staff on Guam has been downsized, just like on Bonaire, so when something unusual like this happens, they are really stretched to the limit.

Here is a report from Guam that just came in:

Thanks for praying for us. We went in Tuesday morning to run the morning broadcast shift and couldn't get a single transmitter to run.

We managed eventually to get a transmitter up to run the morning Vietnamese and then it went down and we had to work on it as a big coil was shorting out. We got the next transmitter fixed in time to run the morning Cantonese on it. Then we went through two more transmitters and got them running but never got the last transmitter running for the night shift. After putting in a 15 hour shift and knowing that there wasn't time enough to fix the transmitter in time to get any of the night programming on, we went home for the remainder of the night.

Power was restored to the station around 7 PM so it was out for over 40 hours.

Wednesday morning when we started the morning broadcast shift, our main circuit panel shorted out. We spent the rest of the day working on it and got it back to running just two minutes before the night broadcast shift started. The middle phase in the circuit breaker shorted out to ground. All morning was spent cleaning up the charred insulation and circuit breakers. The afternoon was spent making a new bar for the center phase for the breakers to attach to. A hole bigger than a quarter was blown in the bar and there was just a little on one side still holding the bar together. Doug, who was running the night shifts came in early and worked on transmitter two and got it running.

So now we are back running all five transmitters and have water and power back both at home and at the station. Thanks so much for your prayers. No one was hurt and there doesn't appear to be any antenna damage. Salt water from the ocean and electrical components just don't make a good mix.

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