The CBS4 Transmitter Tower near Galesburg N.D. collapsed on Saturday April 5th at 6:09 PM during one of the worst blizzards in recent history. 70+ MPH winds and heavy icing in the area are the reason for the failure of the structure. The 2,060 foot tower had fallen to within an area less than 500 feet from its base.
The following is a brief synopsis of what has been done to restore our signal to the over 200,000 viewers that lost their source for CBS programming in the Red River Valley:
Assembly of the tower started on the ground on April 20th, the stacking of the tower began on May 19th, and finished in August. Before a signal could be transmitted from the new tower, a performance check had to be completed.
Jerry Servatius of JS Broadcast Service Company at (915) 772-2243, was responsible for the task of proofing the signal. The final testing of transmission line, antenna, and proof of performance check on the transmitter was completed on the morning prior to our signal being transmitted with our new tower. A chronological break down of the reconstruction of the 2060' tower.
Saturday August 15, 1998
Signed-on from new 2060 foot tower with stereo audio.
Monday-Friday August 8th-14th, 1998
Jerry Servatius checked out the transmission line and transmitter for about a week before going on air with new tower.
Friday August 8, 1998
Replacement batwing arrived and installed, all remaining work done.
Thursday July 30, 1998
Remaining portion of VHF antenna and dummy pole installed to get to 2060 feet, but one batwing damaged. Also, a flag is installed at top of structure making tower about 2064 feet high.
Wednesday July 29, 1998
VHF antenna up to the 1993 foot level by 3:45 PM
Tuesday July 28, 1998
Elevator cables installed
Saturday July 25, 1998
Reached 1935 feet last section of tower and elevator car in
Thursday July 23, 1998
Reached 1905 feet
Friday July 17, 1998
4 1/16" transmission line installed to 1800 feet
Monday July 13, 1998
Too windy to stack sections
Thursday July 9, 1998
Reached 1815 feet by 4 PM
Thursday July 9, 1998
Reached 1755 feet by 11:30 AM
Tuesday July 7, 1998
Reached 1665 feet
Wednesday July 1, 1998
Reached 1575 feet
Friday June 26, 1998
Reached 1425 feet
Wednesday June 24, 1998
Reached 1305 feet
Monday June 22, 1998
Reached 1185 feet
Tuesday June 16, 1998
Reached 1095 feet
Friday June 12, 1998
Reached 975 feet
Monday June 8, 1998
Reached 855 feet by 1 PM
Monday June 8, 1998
Reached 735 feet by 9:30 AM
Thursday June 4, 1998
Reached 675 feet by 11 AM
Thursday June 4, 1998
Reached 645 feet by 10 AM
Tuesday June 2, 1998
Reached 555 feet
Wednesday May 27, 1998
Reached 465 feet
Tuesday May 26, 1998
Reached 315 feet
Tuesday May 19, 1998
Reached 165 feet (put up by crane)
Wednesday April 1, 1998
Work scheduled to start on the new 2060' tower. The total amount of steel to complete the structure will be 955,000 pounds. The tower that went down in the ice/wind storm on April 5, 1997 consisted of 697,000 pounds.
Friday November 21, 1997
Industrial Builders finished the concrete work on the 9 guy wire anchors and 18 damper anchors today after about a month of work at the site. It required 825 yards of concrete to finish the task.
Monday October 27, 1997
Industrial Builders began the task of putting in the guy wire anchors for CBS4's new 2060 foot tower.
Thursday July 10th, 1997
CBS4 IS BACK ON THE AIR!!! The signal is transmitted from a 700' tower as of 5 pm. 3 months and 5 days after the tower fell. There was much rejoicing.....
Wednesday July 2nd, 1997
Windy conditions caused another delay in getting the antenna up on the tower. The transmitter was tested at 30kw, although it will probably be operated at 28kw.
Tuesday July 1st, 1997
Jerry Servatius of J.S. BROADCAST SERVICE CO. (915) 772-2243 is out at the transmitter to do final proofs, test the transmission line and oversee some aspects of the transmitter being operated on the new tower. A brief but heavy rainstorm caused more work as the building still has some leaks, everyone out at the site mopped and vacuumed water.
Saturday June 28th, 1997
The tower crew continues to work. Another 4 sections of tower were installed bringing the height to 600 feet. Hoping for a broadcast on channel 4 by the 15th of July......
Wednesday June 25th, 1997
Rain continues to slow the tower crew. The tower is at the 500 foot level today.
Friday June 20th, 1997
The tower now stands at 400 feet. Microwave equipment is added along with permanent lighting on the tower.
Wednesday June 18th, 1997
3 more sections of tower were put in place today, bringing the current height of the tower to 300 feet. Work continues on the transmitter building.
Thursday June 12th, 1997
The first 4 sections of the tower (assembled on the ground) were put up reaching 100 feet. Then an additional 125 foot section (pre-assembled) was placed on top of the first section. 225 feet of tower was put in place today.
Tuesday June 10th, 1997
Remaining scrap metal was removed today. Salvage operation was started about May 1st.
Tuesday June 3rd, 1997
The tower crew begins assembling the 25 foot sections of the 700 foot tower on the ground. It consists of 28 sections of 25 feet each, with the antenna extending 35 feet above the top of the tower.
Monday, May 19th, 1997
45 sections of used 3 1/8" transmission line for the 700 foot tower was delivered today. Some sections are damaged but there are extra sections.
Tuesday, May 13th, 1997
Salvage crews at the transmitter site have removed 30 tons of metal so far.
Monday, May 12th, 1997
CBS4's signal is back on in the Grand Forks/East Grand Forks area on channel 4 at low power due to 2 of the 4 antenna bays damaged during installation.
Thursday, May 1st, 1997
CBS4's signal is back on in the Fargo/Moorhead area on UHF channel 22. The coverage area is a 20 mile radius from the CBS4 TV studios in south Fargo.
Monday, April 28th, 1997
CBS4's signal is back on the Jamestown cable system.
Friday, April 25th, 1997
CBS4's signal is back on the Casselton cable system.
Saturday, April 19th, 1997
CBS4's signal is off of the Grand Forks/East Grand Forks cable system as the town is flooded with record high waters from the Red River. Power has been cut to the building that our microwave transmitter is on and our microwave receiver is in a flooded building.
Tuesday, April 15th, 1997
CBS4's signal is back on the G.F./E.G.F. cable system. CBS4 engineers along with TCI engineers from Grand Forks finished tuning in the signal from the First Bank site in Grand Forks.
Monday, April 14th, 1997
CBS4 re-establishes a link between Fargo and Grand Forks/East Grand Forks. A microwave transmitter is placed on top of the First Bank building in Grand Forks where CBS4's signal is then microwaved to East Grand Forks TCI tower to be inserted into the cable system for Grand Forks/East Grand Forks. However the work wasn't completed.
Wednesday, April 9th, 1997
CBS4's signal is taken off of Grand Forks/East Grand Forks. Falling ice severed a Grand Forks channel 2 transmission line and KFME was forced to take CBS4's signal off of the feed and insert their signal back on.
Tuesday, April 8th, 1997, 5:45 PM
CBS4 resumed programming in West Fargo by using microwave gear from KFME-TV mounted on CBS4's roof (transmitter) and at West Fargo's Harmon cable head end site.
Tuesday, April 8th, 1997, 3:00 PM
CBS4 resumed programming in Grand Forks/East Grand Forks by placing a tuner at KFME's studio connected to CableOne and inserting the signal into KFME's spare microwave link to Grand Forks.
Monday, April 7th, 1997, 12:30 PM
CBS4 resumed programming on Moorhead's Cable system thanks to the Engineers at TCI in Moorhead. CBS4's signal was microwaved from CBS4's studio to the head end at TCI in Moorhead and inserted into TCI's system.
Saturday, April 5th, 1997, 8:34 PM
CBS4 resumed programming on the Fargo CableOne system, thanks to the hard work of the CBS4 and CableOne engineers. Using an existing fiber optic cable that was in place, CableOne removed a fiber transmitter from KVRR-TV's studio and placed it in CBS4's Studio.