KOGA–AM, Ogallala, Nebraska
July 28, 2003
Chief engineer’s comments follow the photos.
Here is what happened, in the words of Chief Engineer Dave Geho.
“First of all, this was KOGA–AM’s tower number one in an array of four.
“The weather service estimates that there were 95–mph winds. The time of the storm was about 8:30 p.m. on July 27, 2003.
“Failure is believed to have been caused by the u–bolt–style clamps that terminate the loops in the guy wires. They had seized over the years, and although they appeared tight, failed under the strain of the severe wind. It’s our guess that the clamps had seized and as the wires aged, they stretched enough that the clamps no longer had a good grip on them.
“We test tension at regular intervals. In fact this tower was inspected, plumbed and tensioned just six weeks before.
“This was this station’s original tower that went up in 1952 when the station was a 500–watt non–directional daytimer.
“Over the years as other stations have gone dark, this station has been able to upgrade to where it would be in normal operation 5,000 watts directional daytime and 500 watts directional night.
“The tower was home to our 161–mhz RPU receive antenna and our STL receive antenna.
“With some quick thinking and some work we were able to get on the air at 350 watts by 10:30 a.m. the next day.
“With some more work and ATU tweaks we were able to get to 1250 watts non–directional.”
—Dave Geho, CE/IT
Clear Channel Radio, Ogallala, NE
KOGA-AM, 99.7 The Lake, KMCX-FM