This morning's severe weather and flooding knocked KPRC2 off the air. The technical difficulty was the result of a power outage. While power outages are not uncommon, the station usually seamlessly switches to their backup generator and it is unnoticeable to the public. In this instance however, there was literally a "perfect storm" of circumstances due to the construction of KPRC2's new facility.
The building is being built on their current property in Sharpstown, and it is believed that this caused a disruption to the normal flood mitigation. The result led to flood water submerging the transfer switch to the backup generator.
"The safety of our employees is, and always will be, our top priority," said KPRC2 VP/General Manager, Jerry Martin. "Once it became apparent that electricity could pose a safety threat when attempting to switch on the back-up generator, it was an easy decision to wait until we could get an electrician through the flood waters to properly handle the situation."
The station continued to deliver constant news and information the entire time via Click2Houston.com and social media. "We were never out of touch with the people counting on us to stay safe," said News Director, Rhonda LaVelle. "TV is just one of a wide portfolio of options that we deliver content, so we found ways to deliver critical information when it was needed."
As one dedicated viewer posted on KPRC2's Facebook page, "There has got to be some kind of special Emmy for the coverage by Channel 2 right now. Facetime, iPad & a remote transmission vehicle. Call it the MacGyver Award.” (Kristy Beins, Monday, April 18, 2016, 9:25AM)
"I can guarantee you we are in detailed and urgent conversations with the civil engineers and general contractor hired to construct our new facility to ensure flood mitigation does not cause an issue like this again," added Martin. "When deciding where to build our new facility, we weighed options that were less flood prone. Ultimately, we decided we are committed to Sharpstown and to making this area vibrant, and this does nothing to change that."
Centerpoint Energy has restored KPRC2 back to full power. The station continues to be 100% operational and a second backup generator has been installed.
(This post was taken from a release sent to me by KPRC 2)