June 1, 2006
by Brian Russell
Doerun -- Investigators and security personnel are working below an 8-ton antenna precariously perched atop that damaged 1000-foot tower.
The tower's owners say every precaution has been taken to ensure the site's safety. Crews can see the helicopter severed one of the tower's metal legs and a guy wire.
David Folsom is the chief technology officer for Raycom Media, the current parent company of both WALB-TV and WFXL-TV. Those two stations operate the two towers.
Folsom said tomorrow a crew is expected to examine the tower. The first repair step will be to stabilize it.
In the meantime, investigators have been alerted to the dangers. "We've talked with them about what to do... where not to go. They all got the instructions. They're staying outside of the possible danger zones," Folsom said.
Folsom also said there's no threat that South Georgia would be left without television should the tower collapse.
The WFXL-TV tower is about 150 feet away from WALB-TV's tower. If the injured tower falls, it could take out the other.
Folsom is hopeful the damaged tower won't come down. "I'm moderately optimistic that if the weather will cooperate and we don't have any high winds and we can get the equipment in that we need to stabilize the tower... that we should be able to save the tower," Folsom said.
"The concern I have is that if a large storm comes through with some high winds... that may change things. But for now the weather seems to be cooperating, so I think we're ok for now."
Should both towers collapse, Folsom said, Raycom has already devised a strategy to ensure South Georgians aren't left without television for long.