HINDMAN, Ky. — 107.1 WKCP FM was flooded out during July’s historic flooding in eastern Kentucky, but the station is broadcasting once again, and in a new home.
The historic flash flooding in Eastern Kentucky washed away homes, schools, businesses, anything in the water’s path. And during the time it was needed most, the flood took a local radio station off the air — but not forever.
On an early morning drive, hours before the sun comes up, Randy Thomspon might be the only one keeping you company on the road.
“This morning we have a family pass to the White Oak Pumpkin Patch,” Thompson said into a new microphone. “I purchased the station in 1989 and it had been there probably almost 20 years prior to that, so it had always been there."
The owner, GM and DJ of 107.1 WKCP has been behind the mic for more than 40 years.
He’s at the helm of one of the oldest forms of modern mass communication. “Here we go! Again put the number in your phone, 606-785-5900!” Thompson says throwing it to a music break. On July 27, there was a ‘communication breakdown.’
“The building itself had never flooded, never come close to flooding. Pretty much destroyed all of our equipment,” the radioman said.
Known as eastern Kentucky’s “biggest little radio station,” WKCP was caught in the state’s worst flash flooding on record.
Thomspon’s Knott County radio station was swamped. “When it hit, not being on the air, the most devastating part for me was not being able to provide the people the information they needed.” Thompson told Spectrum News 1.
The veteran broadcaster was back on the air from his own living room 2 days after his studios were washed out.
Three months later, the old school radio guy is still getting used to the new broadcast board and headquarters on Highway 160, just south of town. “So we’re operating basically with new equipment and new software I’m struggling with,” Thompson said with a grin.
His on air interview skills are as sharp as ever and his dedication to the communities he broadcasts to has never waned.
“And people from away from here, I would imagine, have trouble comprehending what actually hit here,” Thompson told us.