Having just come off a full weekend covering Hurricane Irene, my sights were focused on getting this special edited and ready to air. We never thought the remnants of Hurricane Lee would pose much of a threat to us in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
I was in extra early on the morning of September 8th. In the course of our morning newscast, we spent a good deal of time on the weather and the potential for flooding. As the morning progressed, it was becoming evident that lower lying areas near the Susquehanna River were going to be evacuated.
At 8:30am, General Manager Lou Abitabilo gathered the WBRE/WYOU department heads in his office to discuss our evacuation plans. After a conference call with the folks at New Age Television's WOLF-TV, they agreed to allow us the use of their production truck and garage as a workspace.
We would end up broadcasting 48 out of our 63 continuous hours out of the WOLF-TV facility.
The NEPA Flood of 2011 gave me an opportunity to see the best in people. I barely slept for 4 days straight and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything in the world.
My biggest regret, as those who are close to me already know, is that I would leave WBRE just four months after the floods. I never got to see the full scope of the recovery first hand.
Fortunately, it made me into a better leader who understands better than ever that what we do as journalists ever single day, has a real impact on the communities we serve.