Digging Through the Archives

Before we moved into our brand new HD facility I uncovered a dusty 3/4 inch tape labeled “TORNADO”. This tape was lost in the deep recesses of a wooden filing cabinet in the very back of a very old weather office. When I opened it up I realized it was an aircheck of WVIT’s coverage after 1979 Windsor Locks tornado. Miraculously (and with a lot of help from our engineers) I was able to get it dubbed to DVD and was able to use it for our 30th anniversary story on the storm.

I’ve become a bit of a pack rat when it comes to saving old weather video and stories done at Channel 30. I’ve spent hours and hours and hours looking through hundreds of file tapes (which were dubbed to DVD a few years back) to unearth old classics. Our “electronic” cataloging of archived tapes began in the mid 90s and before that a dilapidated and half missing card catalog covered the 1986-1996 period. Unfortunately the card catalog is where our old building is: gone forever.  Even so I was able to find some real treasures. Among the goodies: an aircheck from the 1989 Hamden tornado, 10 minutes of raw video of tornado damage in Bantam, and nearly a dozen Hurricane Bob stories and December 1992 nor’easter video. Over the course of about 3 years of looking, I’ve gradually struck gold!

This kind of stuff makes me giddy. I’ve been sure to copy them all to a hard drive so they won’t go missing again and more importantly I won’t have to sneeze my way through dusty tapes. For your pleasure I’ve uploaded some of the better clips to YouTube for your own enjoyment. Check some of them out here.

One that I had to embed is a great package and some VO from Hurricane Bob. Tom Monahan, who’s retiring this Friday, is probably still drying out from this one. I wonder if he still has that jacket? I hope not.

Ironically the clips I haven’t gathered and put online yet are the easiest to find. The 2010 Fairfield County windstorm and the severe flooding 2 weeks later. They’ll be up soon, I promise!

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2 thoughts on “Digging Through the Archives

  1. This is great, great stuff. Any chance of finding coverage of the Blizzard of ’78? I think Jay Richard was doing the weather on Channel 30 back then.

    I grew up in Cheshire and have video of the aftermath of the 1989 tornado, Hurricane Bob, and the Superstorm of March, 1993. I also saved a snowball from the Blizzard of ’78, which survived in the freezer until Hurricane Gloria knocked out power for a couple days. I still have a snowball from the Blizzard of ’96.

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