Louisiana station begins broadcast facility cleanup after Hurricane Laura strike

After Hurricane Laura swept over a large equipment tower on the roof of KPLC in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the station is starting the process of making the station habitable again.

When the storm raged through Aug. 27, 2020, it took off the upper half the tower perched atop the station’s building, knocking the station off the air and heavily damaging the studio below.

Luckily, no one was hurt because the station had been evacuated to Gray sister station WAFB in Baton Rouge

Work started as soon as possible to get the station back on the air — the tower, while not the primary transmitter, did house the equipment needed to get the signal from the station to it.

The station has begun to assess the damage and has already brought equipment in to start cleaning up the mess, according to its website, and making the building usable again.

The station says it plans to move back into the building once everything is ready and safe, but will have to broadcast newscasts from an alternative location while work is done to renovate and repair the studio space.

From pictures Gray employees posted on Twitter, it appears the news set was heavily damaged, though it’s not clear if the station will call it a loss.

Amazingly, the primary set, including the anchor desk and video wall behind it, appear to be intact — as do at least some of the ceiling mounted cameras, teleprompter screens and return monitors — though they could be heavily damaged by exposure to wind and water.

It even appears some of the equipment can still be powered on. The weather center also appears to be mostly intact.