Reader's view: June's flooding showed value of local radio
More than two months have passed since Duluthians encountered the worst flooding in our community in four decades. It is clear the clean-up effort will take a long time with some roads and property likely to be off-limits for the foreseeable future.
More than two months have passed since Duluthians encountered the worst flooding in our community in four decades. It is clear the clean-up effort will take a long time with some roads and property likely to be off-limits for the foreseeable future. More importantly, Duluthians now have counted the economic and social damages with estimates upward of $80 million.
As a former local official, I can find some solace in the preparation and professionalism of our state, regional and local first responders. The storm demonstrated how important the planning and actions of local officials for every possible scenario can be. They deserve thanks for their hard work in preparing.
This year's flooding also demonstrated the crucial role of at least one organization we often take for granted: local radio. Whereas it is often difficult to find reliable sources of news and communications during adverse weather conditions, our Duluth radio stations continually relayed crucial information to Duluthians in an attempt to keep us informed and safe.
Radio's contributions did not end when the weather conditions improved. Radio also played an important role in our recovery efforts. It is estimated Duluth could lose approximately $3 million in tourism revenue. Still, it could have been worse. Through on-air advertising and chatter, radio played a critical role to an expedited rebound by reassuring regular visitors that Duluth remained open for business. Radio responded when Visit Duluth launched a campaign with that very message.
Local radio has proven to be a critical tool before, during, and after this consequential time in Duluth's history. Radio is an important means of communication in our everyday life as well. We should take time to appreciate the positive contribution of local radio stations.