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Aug 10 2007

Storm knocks stations off air


At least three area AM stations were off the air Thursday afternoon — WKHB (620) in Irwin, WKFB (770) in Jeannette, and WJAS (1320) in Pittsburgh — while a fourth, McKeesport-licensed WPTT (1360) was operating at low power. The outages are apparently a result of severe thunderstorms that swept through the region at three different times yesterday.

The eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh were among the communities hit hardest by the storms; WJAS broadcasts from a site in the city’s East End, near Swissvale, while WKHB and WKFB share a site in North Huntingdon, Westmoreland County. WPTT, which uses a site in Greenfield for its daytime 5 kW service, switched to its 1 kW nighttime directional site in Lincoln Borough, Allegheny County, during afternoon drive.

As of Friday morning, Duquesne Light and Allegheny Power both reported widespread outages, and more than 25,000 customers were without electricity; 620, 770 and 1320 were still silent at 7 a.m. More details as they roll into PBRTV.

[Full disclosure: The author is a part-time employee of WKHB.]