Maintaining the connections

Chief engineer Radio Bob Sauter and I did drive 250 miles today to visit three key transmission sites in communities hit hard by Irene. Bob tuned up and replaced some parts at the Keene, Keene Valley and Jay facilities. It’s a shock seeing the destruction to roads, public buildings and homes.

Hurricane Road closure in Keene.

Temporary repairs to fire station in Keene.

Radio Bob working on the Keene transmission equipment.

At the Noon Mark Diner in Keene Valley, we ran into friends Dan Luthringshauser and his grandchildren, Lucas and Elise.

Lola Porter and Mindy Bell, owners of the Noon Mark Diner.

Lola and Mindy said business had been good today. We saw people working everywhere we went: repairing roads, cleaning debris from yards, removing flood soaked merchandise from stores.

Now, on to the Keene Valley High School to work on the transmitter. We found Superintendent Cynthia Ford-Johnson and school secretary Cindy Summo at work, preparing for the first day of school next week.

Superintendent Cynthia Ford-Johnson and Cindy Summo.

Bob gets ready to climb into the Keene Valley High School tower where our transmitter is located.

The faculty room is located right below where Bob was working. Couldn’t resist taking a photo of this quotation hanging on the wall–note author.

Then, we were lucky to reach the Olympic ski jump as the road to Wilmington opened up. From there to Jay, where Bob worked on the facility located at Ward Lumber Company.

In Jay--tower from which we receive/broadcast located to Bob's left.

There is so much damage. We have printed a lot of pictures in the past few days of Irene’s destructive impact. Perhaps tomorrow Bob will post some of the other pictures we took. Right now, I’m left feeling deeply for the people in Essex County and elsewhere who face repair, rebuilding, and so many challenges in coming months. Seeing road crews, volunteers working around the communities we visited, and all the effort going into dealing with the force of this event was an inspiration.

What keeps anyone going during a crisis is support from friends and neighbors, and a sense of humor:

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