Expert dissects tower collapse

Mark Loizeaux of Controlled Demolition Inc.
Mark Loizeaux of Controlled Demolition Inc.

June 8, 2006

Doerun -- The world's foremost demolition experts did not expect WALB's tower to fall when they brought down an adjacent tower. Thursday, they explained to us just how that happened.  

Many of you watched at 6:32 Wednesday evening when Controlled Demolition Incorporated set off charges that dropped WFXL's damaged tower to the ground.  WALB's tower was also brought down with it, and now we know why.  

Crews placed charges on guy wires of WFXL's tower. They slid the explosives as far up the wires as possible to create a clean cut through them to bring down the tower. One of those wires caught the guy wire on WALB's tower, and that's all it took.    

"Specifically one upper guide swung down, and it was within seven or eight feet of missing the guy below us, and it just hit this guy and hit it, and wrapped around it," Mark Loizeaux of Controlled Demolition Inc. "It held it and that restrained the top of the tower, everything moved perfectly, and it almost made it to the ground, and just before it got to the ground, it took the wire on the WALB tower and just yanked it down."    

With just one guy wire compromised, WALB's tower came straight down in a pile of metal.

Controlled Demolition Inc. had hoped that WALB's tower could be spared, but knew all along the chances were good both would fall.

Most of our viewers won't be affected by the tower collapse, but thousands of south Georgians who receive our signal by antenna will endure a disruption.

The tower in Doerun was one thousand feet tall and pumped out 316,000 Watts. That gave us a broadcast range of about 75 miles around Doerun.

Right now we are operating off a backup antenna installed here in Albany at a height of 200 feet. It's putting out only about 20,000 Watts. Unfortunately, that sends our signal out over about a 25-mile radius around Albany, only about a third of our previous range.

We don't yet know when we will be back up and running at full power. It could be months. We will keep you updated on our progress.