Cumberland County radio station struggles to stay on the air after winter weather takes out transmitter


CROSSVILLE (WATE) –  The Cumberland Plateau is a mess after the last round of winter weather. The sheriff says every square mile of Cumberland County has been affected.

Trees and power lines are down. Some families are doing their best to stay warm in their homes while others have gone to shelters.Related story: Volunteer Electric working around the clock on the Cumberland Plateau

One of the towers for a radio station that provides crucial news and weather information to that area fell on Friday and the station is making every effort to stay on the air.

101.9 The Vibe has been off the air since Friday when the tower fell. The problem is it’s on top of Thorny Mountain, which is almost completely inaccessable because of the storm damage.

The tower folded under the weight of the ice, knocking out the station and taking the spread of vital information out with it.

“When you have a crisis like this where, you know, we’re like a command center and then when we are hit by this, too, it affects us in a way where we have to really, really focus on getting the information out there whatever way, means we can,” said DJ Dave Bartley.

Theyve turned to social media,  apps and their sister station to push out as much storm information as possible

With local emergency management turning to them to help get out disaster relief information, it’s all hands on deck to make up for the lost station.

“We try to get everything out to closings, cancellations, as much as we can and hope that that kind of takes the place of the bigger signal that we’ve lost,” said Bartley.

The owner of the station hopes the tower will be fixed and the station can be back on the air Tuesday.

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