Catholic Radio of Marshalltown expects return to airwaves

TIMES-REPUBLICAN

The sound of silence. Yes, that’s the sound coming from Marshalltown Catholic Radio since the July 19 tornado ravaged their buildings and destroyed much of their equipment.

“The roof fell in, literally, in our KCRM studio,” said Deacon Roger Polt, general manager.

As the building buckled in the tornado, the sprinkler system went off soaking much of the equipment, then the ceiling fell in, coating the equipment with a layer of powdery insulation.

“Not a good scenario,” Polt said as he surveyed the damage. “Needless to say, everything was a total loss.”

The KDNH studio fared much better and escaped with little damage. Volunteer Pompilio Bermudez was on the scene shortly afterwards and removed the expensive equipment.

“It was pretty devastating to see all the damage and realize that my 15 years of work with Catholic Radio was gone,” said Bob Dick, president of Marshalltown Catholic Radio. Satellite dishes, antennas, so much of the inside equipment, destroyed. Similar to the loss that people experience when losing their home, is how it feels,” Dick said. “You put a lot of yourself into it over the years and then it’s gone in just a few minutes.”

“But we and the Marshalltown community were blessed that no one lost their lives. We are thankful that most of our damaged equipment is covered by insurance. The hardest part of getting the two stations back on the air permanently will be to find a new location. Hopefully we can put something together fairly quickly to get back on the air from a temporary setting, but a long-term solution will take more time.”

As the directors and volunteers met Wednesday evening to discuss the situation, everyone was encouraged to begin scouting around for possible locations that might work.

“We don’t need anything fancy and our equipment doesn’t take much room,” Polt said. “But something tall and inexpensive would be important.”

As the meeting adjourned the group agreed to set a goal of being in a permanent home by Dec. 23.

“That would be a great way to celebrate our 15th anniversary,” said Dick.

So stay tuned. . .Catholic radio will be back on the air soon.