Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Friday, December 14, 2007 - 2:10AM

Watch for falling tower ice!

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A little-known hazard of the recent ice storms in across the country exists at the sites of tall television towers. As the ice melts, it falls off in huge chunks that are large enough to total cars and punch holes in roofs at the base of the towers. Many TV stations across the country are located at the base of these towers, putting the station employees and their vehicles in great danger after every freezing rain event. Some recent video of this happening in Oklahoma is making the rounds.

Back in February of 2003, a significant ice storm hit the Charleston, WV area, with major ice accumulations in the St. Albans area and westward. The Coal Mountain site of two TV towers, the 1,200 foot WCHS tower and the 1,500 WVAH tower, were coated with several inches of ice. The WVAH tower collapsed from the weight of the ice, but the WCHS tower survived. Football-sized chunks of ice later fell from the WCHS tower as temperatures warmed. I was there shooting video at the tower site and recorded this footage:

VIDEO: Ice falls from TV tower - February 20, 2003

Here is a shot of part of the collapsed WVAH tower, showing the large chunks of ice and the craters left in the ground when they hit:

A couple more images of the collapsed tower are available here.

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