Thousands of WNIJ listeners lost contact with their NPR programming this morning, when a severe thunderstorm cut the power to Northern Public Radio's transmitter in Lindenwood, Ill. The outage also affected listeners to WNIJ's sister station, Classical WNIU.
While Commonwealth Edison struggled to restore power to 175,000 customers, WNIJ and WNIU had hoped to use generator power to continue broadcasting. Unfortunately, according to chief engineer Jeff Glass, our backup lacked coolant. So when the power went out around 6:00am, fans of NPR's Morning Edition were forced to pull in distant signals from Chicago Public Radio or Wisconsin Public Radio.
Some listeners who had power logged onto WNIJ.org to listen. Others who had smart phones slowly drained their batteries listening to their favorite station.
The most recent word from engineer Jeff Glass is that generator power should be restored around midday.
update: both station were back on the air at 1:20p.m.