Hurricane coverage is serious business. The newsroom is divided into two teams, Team A members who work before and during the storm, and Team B, who come in for the aftermath. It’s one of the things you know when you take on the job – when others are heading home, you’re heading to work. And let’s be honest – we enjoy it! Here’s a peek into some of the behind the scenes work that went into what you saw on TV and heard on radio!
First of course is the proper garb. When you expect to be wading through mud and muck and perhaps knee high water and standing in rain, the obligatory head-to-toe yellow rain gear is a must!!!
Well, not everybody can be on the road. The in-house crew is just as important and often much more stressed, fielding questions like “My daughter needs to leave home now. Which route should she take?” Truly. Of course, team members like Karen Madden-James pull a full shift in-house and THEN hit the road, checking out hurricane damage and coming across community protests against police shootings, and wounded police officers. All in a day’s work, right Karen??
The weather team never gets a break – checking the latest information, getting updates, and
always ready to go on air at a moment’s notice. Great job guys!
And although it was rain, no play for most events while Sandy jogged across Jamaica, there is always a game somewhere, right Ricardo?
Time to hit the road since there wasn’t a lot of impact in and around Kingston. The All Angles team set off to capture images of Hurricane Sandy for our viewers. First stop – Harbour View, where the sea view from the bridge was truly impressive! We tried estimating wave heights, my best guess was 15-20 feet, but producer Andre Jebbinson insisted that the waves were closer to 30 feet.
Just outside Harbour View we had to stop again to watch the waves crashing against the shore, and throwing debris across the road. Vehicles made their way along cautiously, scores of people were snapping pictures or just watching the show, while a few Good Samaritans pulled debris out of the way of the few vehicles on the road.
Then we decided to head for St. Thomas. There were reports of blocked roads and flooding and we wanted to see what
was happening. But it was not easy going. Good thing our cameraman El Dorado had the foresight to take along a machete!
There were many such trees and road blocks along the way, but we were determined to get as far as we could.
Well, we made it as far as Pamphret, outside Yallahs. We had hoped to get to White Horses, but couldn’t quite make it, not because of the road, but because duty called me back to Kingston, arriving just a few minutes late for my on-air stint on Beyond the Headlines.