13News Now's backup hurricane facility

13News Now Janet Roach has the story

DRIVER, Va. (WVEC) -- When people say you need a plan to prepare for a storm, that includes us, too.

With a studio that sits in a vulnerable spot along the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, 13News Now is lucky to have a backup facility.

That backup studio is in Suffolk, and today we put it to the test.

Located 14.2 miles from our main 13News Now studio and tucked away in the Driver section of Suffolk, we have a state-of-the-art facility set up to keep you informed in a storm.

So every year we come here for a test, both in front of the camera and behind it.

"We're lucky to have everything here," says IT's chief engineer Keith O'Malley. "So if something happens, we can come out here and start broadcasting."

We run through a newscast, with live shots, phone interviews, and pictures from our viewers: everything we need to tell the story.

Widespread flooding after Hurricane Matthew underscores all the more reason why a backup is needed.

Preparation is the key.

"We come out here several times to test the equipment, just to know that it works," says news director Doug Wieder. "It provides tremendous peace of mind... so whether it's Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Irene, or Hurricane Isabel, we're always going to be there for our viewers."


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