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Harvey’s impact continues to unfold

 - At least scores of broadcasters suffer losses

Hundreds of Texas broadcasters in Hurricane Harvey’s path of destruction have been working non-stop to keep their communities informed of the fast-changing dynamics of the storm and its after-effects. Sadly, at least one lost his life and it is clear that scores from Corpus Christi to Lufkin have lost vehicles and suffered substantial damage to their homes.

Mike Koenig’s KYBI-FM in Lufkin lost a DJ who drowned while assisting with volunteer recovery efforts in North Houston. Alonso “DJ Ocho” Guillen had driven from Lufkin to Spring with two friends and a flat-bottomed boat to help people trapped by raging floodwaters. One of those friends, Tomas Carreon, also drowned.

Gary Stelly, owner of KOGT-AM in Orange along the Louisiana border, reportedly lost his home and multiple vehicles as floodwaters consumed the station and knocked it off-air.

Dozens of broadcasters at Radio and TV stations in Houston and Beaumont-Port Arthur also have suffered extreme losses, and reports are still coming in from stations in the Victoria and Corpus Christi area.

Emergency Cash Grants

The Broadcasters Foundation of America already is processing applications for emergency cash grants of $1,000 each. Broadcasters in need – and those who wish to make contributions in support of this work – can apply or donate here.

The foundation’s emergency relief program distributes the grants after a disaster and its expedited emergency grant application process is streamlined to provide assistance as quickly as possible.

After last year’s devastating floods in Louisiana, the group awarded nearly $100,000 to broadcasters. In 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, they awarded a total of $250,000 to 250 broadcasters. Just days after the storm, the foundation already was fielding a steady stream of applications at a pace that looks to exceed Katrina.

Account executives, on-air personalities, producers, programmers, music and traffic directors – basically anyone employed by a Radio or Television station and in need because of a disaster such as Hurricane Harvey – is eligible for assistance.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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