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I wish I had a generator

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Precious Roy, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    So a semi ran into a power pole behind our offices, leaving us all in the dark. The power company is saying that it could be midnight (central time) before they restore power to our part of town. We don't have anything in the way of power to get work done and are four pages away from being off the floor.
    I am so pissed off right now. Had I a generator, then we could power up the systems and get things done.
    However, we are in the dark and I am hammering this out on the company laptop so I can watch the ticker for the score of the NBA game to get ready for the wild rush when things come back on.
    Sorry to rant, but this sucks.
    Any others have stories like this?
  2. MacDaddy

    MacDaddy Active Member

    I once worked in a newsroom where the emergency backup power was set up to power only certain areas of the newsroom -- all the places where there was no one at night (features, art department, etc.), while the layout and copy desks were all dark with no computers. Good times.
  3. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    We finally got back power and are now off the floor, a good hour and 15 minutes past get your ass chewed deadline.
    Again, this was quite the bogus night.
  4. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Had a tornado knock out power for 6 hours in the newsroom one night. Think we got it back around 10:30, and somehow got a complete paper out in two hours. Pretty crazy stuff. Nice adrenaline rush, too.
  5. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    We ran on generator power for eight days after Katrina came right over us. Best investment the company ever made. We didn't miss a day and did some of the best work any of us will ever do with that thing puttering away almost non-stop.
  6. e_bowker

    e_bowker Member

    We were without power for only two days when that beast hit. Thank goodness. We already had the generator, but since nobody on our side of the Mississippi River had power a lot of our news clerks were sent out on fuel runs. There were hourlong waits at the stations that had power and gas.
    We powered up three or four computers -- one for news, one for sports, one for production -- and had extension cords running all over the place. We were basically producing a paper by flashlight. When the time came to print, a paper in another town was gracious enough to let us use their press.
    Our paper's owner had one of the last houses in town to get power restored, more than a week after the storm. He was sleeping in his office at the paper, and he and his wife had a steady stream of food cooking (the stuff from their refrigerator) for everyone for most of that week.

    In the years since Katrina, we've had to go to a similar production set up a couple of times when bad weather has come through and knocked out power. Having been through that, it's nowhere near as stressful now -- although it's still a big headache.
  7. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    Had the exact same thing happen many years ago, car knocked over a power pole outside.
    Unfortunately, it was a Friday prep football night.
    I had already set the type for one of our six pages. There was a photo taken of me in the backshop holding a flashlight for the pasteup guy. The waxers didn't work so he used spray-on glue to stick down the type.
    Later, a few of us from the newsroom drove to our competitors' office about 25 miles away. I produced the rest of the section on a computer system I had never laid eyes on before.
    As for the preppies, we had one remote terminal. They corraled everybody and went to the City Editor's house. He still had power. They quickly typed in each story, filed to the other paper and I was down there to put it all together. We blew off the agate.
    I felt a lot of pride that night, overcoming a significant problem to produce a passable product. But it was a pain in the ass.
  8. Del_B_Vista

    Del_B_Vista Active Member

    I stood outside with the publisher during the eye of Hurricane Georges trying to repair a broken fuse holder on our big generator.
  9. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    After a summer when we had six power outages near deadline because of thunderstorms (and a less-than-prompt response from the utility company each time), we got a generator.

    It has saved us quite a few times since then. A couple of years ago, when an ice storm knocked out power to most of the town for about 36 hours, we kept working without any problems.
  10. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    i wonder if the publisher would've ponied up if you'd been injured doing that.
  11. Paper Guy

    Paper Guy Member

    I was snowed in at my apartment this past January with no power. Ended up filing stories remotely by calling someone (not at the paper) and dictating my story to them. It was a nightmare (the not having power and not being able to leave for 72 hours, not the dictating, which was unpleasant at worst).
  12. KG

    KG Active Member

    Stupid question, but how in the world does the paper even get delivered when there's enough damage to knock power out that long in an entire area? We have enough issues when a tornado has touched down nearby, I can't imagine if the entire region had taken that kind of beating.
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