CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The KCOW radio antenna tower located in Chadron State Park that held the NOAA weather radio transmitter (KXI-20), collapsed on Saturday, 30 November.
A significant weekend winter storm impacted the area and the combination of freezing fog, freezing drizzle, and heavy snow together with observed winds of 50-60 mph, likely resulted in significant ice accretion, weight load, and ultimately, structure failure.
A Blizzard Warning was in effect for the area at the time of the antenna tower collapse. A return to service for the Chadron, NE NOAA weather radio (KXI-20) is unknown at this time. NWS electronic technicians and private radio company engineers are actively assessing the situation to determine an expedited course of action for service restoration. The transmitter coverage area affected includes the northern Nebraska Panhandle counties of Sioux, Dawes, Box Butte, and Sheridan Counties.
The NWS Cheyenne office has worked closely with NWS Rapid City, SD and NWS North Platte, NE to transfer NOAA weather radio warning products and services to neighboring NOAA weather radio transmitters to increase broadcast coverage for the affected area.