"This will be memorable," Mike Thom said as the snow began to fall on Thursday, October 10, 2019, and he spoke to the CHVN audience through a live video on social media. It was the start of what would become known as the 2019 Thanksgiving Blizzard, and perhaps truer words had never been spoken.
The storm would leave much of southern Manitoba incapacitated for days. Over 100,000 people were left without power at its worst. For CHVN the power outage began earlier than most, in the early hours of the storm, and the last hours of our annual Change Happens Radiothon in support of Siloam Mission.
On-air personalities are used to talking a lot, but usually for about 60 to 120 seconds at a time. The power outage left staff scrambling for solutions, and that solution meant going live on social media on video. (Personalities are also not used to being seen while talking.)
When starting the video, Manitoba Hydro had told CHVN we'd be off the air for 2.5 hours. We went live fully expecting to have to talk for that entire time. Thankfully, a higher (ahem) power, had other plans.
Within 20 minutes power was restored, and Mike Thom and Alissa Moffit were able to get back to more traditional styles of radio broadcasting.