Iowa Ice takes off KOEZ’s FM antenna

The Saga Station lost the top of its tower this weekend

A weekend ice storm cost the KOEZ station in Des Moines, Iowa the top 100 feet of its tower, which unfortunately also housed the station’s 10-bay FM antenna.

The photo above is not what you want to see when you get to your tower location.

Tom Atkins, vice president and director of engineering at Saga Communications, announced to Radio World that local chief engineer Joseph Farrington received an off-air alarm and a low transmission line pressure alarm late Saturday night.

“He immediately switched to the aux antenna to keep KOEZ aloft,” Atkins wrote in an email. “When he got to the transmitter site, he noticed a cracked top end credits and no tower lights over the center of the building.”

It was too dark to see anything on Saturday. He returned Sunday morning and found the top of the tower on the ground, partially buried at one end, along with the main 10-bay ERI SHPX-10AC antenna and the station’s radomes.

Built in 1985, the tower is said to be 1,026 feet tall. It is a solid legged pirod model with a four foot high face.

“It appears that the ice load was too high for the Phillystran that supports the top of the tower,” Atkins wrote. “We will do a full investigation along with a tower inspection to determine the official cause.”

Ice on a tower member.

Nobody was hurt.

Meanwhile, KOEZ, which broadcasts a contemporary adult format, is working with its ERI Rotiller SHPX-4AE auxiliary antenna with four slots at 75% power.

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