3 Years Ago Today: Blizzard Took Out Hot 104.7 / 97.3 KKRC Tower
A historic blizzard landed in the Sioux Falls area on April 14, 2018. It closed almost everything down for a couple of days. It also took out a couple of our radio stations.
The storm lasted for two days. When it was over it had shattered records for snowfall in Sioux Falls. The old record for snow on April 14 was 2.4 inches in 1983, we got 13.7. The single day in April was 10.5 inches in 1994. And the monthly total for April set in 1983 was 18.4 and we got 24.9 in 2018.
A few miles north of Humboldt sits an 814-foot tall radio tower that is the transmitting home of Hot 104.7 and 97.3 KKRC. Sometime in the early morning hours of that Saturday, an accumulation of ice combined with heavy winds caused a guy wire to give way and caused the top 200 feet of the tower to break off and fall to the ground. Amazingly, the rest of the tower structure survived the collapse. That doesn't usually happen.
Back on November 28, 1996, Thanksgiving Day, the tower that originally sat in that same location came down after a long day of driving wind and freezing rain finally made one side too heavy and the entire structure collapsed.
Other towers around Sioux Falls have collapsed in the past. KELO-TV has had its tower come down three times in its history from a thunderstorm in 1955, an airliner in 1968, and a winter storm in 1975.
The tower for KKLS and KKRC was down but not out three years ago. Our engineers hustled and were able to get us back on the air within a month after new but smaller antennas were hung on the tower. After numerous delays, most of which revolved around the crazy weather in the rest of 2018 and all of 2019, which were the two wettest years for precipitation in the recorded history of the city. In September 2020, after a few more delays caused by COVID-19, the new tower was completed and Hot 104.7 and 97.3 KKRC were back at full power.
KKLS KKRC Tower Collapse 2018