Lightning knocks out KBIS-AM and KBDB-FM


There was quite a bit of heavy rain, flooding and thunderstorms (rare for this time of year even there) in Seattle and Northwest Washington. So much so that the two Forks, Washington stations are off the air after being badly damaged by one of the storms on 12/9.  Both stations air from a common 200 foot tower adjacent to the stations studio building in downtown Forks, according to The Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 16 in Seattle.  They are the only commercial radio stations covering the remote Northwest region of Washington State. A Forks Radio spokesperson tells RBR-TVBR that as of the event, the station’s engineers are hoping to have them back on the air by 12/23, with perhaps the Country KBDB-FM back on first. No backup transmitters or sites are in place there. “They told us it would be at least two-three weeks.”

The lightning not only destroyed the stations tower lighting, FM isolation equipment and ATU, but all of the stations program automation, telephone equipment and computer networking.  Condition of the stations transmitters are unknown, but may be damaged as well.

KBIS-AM operates on 1490 kHz with 1 kW, and KBDB-FM operates on 96.7 mHz with 7 kW ERP.  Both stations are owned by First Broadcasting Investment Partners of Dallas. 

The lightning storm also caused a fire that destroyed a nearby home and caused an electrical outage that affected more than 3,000 customers in the Forks area.