August 13, 2010
Radio stations knocked off the air by lightning strike

A number of local radio stations did not escape the wrath of the heavy rains and thunderstorms that lashed the islands on the weekend.{{more}}

Up to press time on Wednesday, Star FM 98.3 was still off the air and was expected to be back on by today, Friday.

The station was one of three affected by a direct lightning strike to their equipment stationed at Mount St. Andrew.

The other stations: Hot 97.1 FM and WE FM 99.9 were also affected, but

were restored within 24 hours of the Monday night/Tuesday morning thunderstorm.

Jules Williams, the regional distributor for the equipment used by the stations, said that meters, circuit breakers, panels and transmission equipment were damaged or destroyed by the lightning.

He said that the original equipment for Star FM had been damaged in a previous thunderstorm, and the back up equipment was affected by the last storm.

Williams, responsible for the maintenance of the equipment, said that there was protection for indirect lightning strikes, but with direct lightning strikes “You just cannot tell.”(JJ)