Hurricane Florence

Radio stations from Charleston to Norfolk are preparing for the worst as Hurricane Florence barrels toward the East Coast. The storm is expected to make landfall early Friday (9/14) as a Category 3 or 4. More than 20 million people are under threat with more than 1.5 million under mandatory evacuation orders. A reminder that the Broadcasters Foundation stands ready with emergency grants for qualifying affected broadcasters; more here.

iHeartMedia WGTR/Myrtle Beach, SC PD Adam Dellinger: We are currently turning all of our efforts to full hurricane coverage. We have national news breaks airing once an hour, and all our jocks are mentioning the most up-to-date evacuation routes [and] shelter locations. Our local media partner, WPDE-TV, is providing news and weather updates hourly, which we're airing as well. Their Chief Meteorologist Ed Piotrowski will join us to discuss the latest storm track on the morning show tomorrow, and we'll have several public information officers from the city and police department on to discuss the city's plan. Our programming staff will be in the building as long as possible. We are fully prepared for wall-to-wall coverage in the form of a simulcast from WPDE, too.

Colonial WJXY/Myrtle Beach, SC PD Christy Andrulonis: It first appeared that our Myrtle Beach stations would receive the brunt of Florence and that our Fayetteville, NC stations would be impacted less. Since then, the track has shifted to the north, so we're now more concerned about potential damage in Fayetteville. Preparations include the obvious things like checking generators and fuel supplies. We're also fully stocked with toilet paper. You can never have enough! In Fayetteville we have the ability to broadcast from our tower site, so we're covered if there are issues at the studio or if the STL goes down. From a programming standpoint, we've added once-an-hour updates from our partners at AccuWeather and all our jocks are providing information about coastal evacuations, lane reversals and hurricane preparedness. Listeners also want to be entertained, so we make sure we're giving them our best by having fun! Even as the storm approaches.

Dick WRNS/Greenville, NC PD Crystal Legends: A vast amount of our listening area is in mandatory evacuations. It currently looks like our area will take a direct hit. We are hopeful about the situation, but realistic. We have a plan to broadcast from higher ground [and] with a main focus of pushing information to our listeners. We have two devoted teams here now doing just that. And sandbags, lots of sandbags.

Max WGH/Norfolk PD Mark McKay: There's still quite a bit of uncertainty about the track and rainfall amounts, but we're bracing for it. It's been a rainy summer, so the ground is already saturated. That makes for a bad situation regarding flooding, downed trees and power outages. Otherwise, we're treating this as an "all-hands-on-deck" situation, and we're lucky to be live and local all day with a great team, many of whom have been through this drill together before. Once Florence hits, we'll be in full-on information-gathering-and-dispersing mode. We've got a partnership with our local ABC affiliate, which gives us even more coverage options. There's a hotel right across our parking lot, and we've made arrangements with them so our people won't have to go far if they choose to not to drive through the storm. Events like this are what make local radio great and we're ready.