In 2012, there was an increase of hurricanes and tropical storms during the months of August, September, and October. Even though Hurricane Season officially begins on June 1st, it doesn’t end until November 30th. The last few months usually have the most storms, which can affect cell towers and cell phone reception.
The FCC reported that Hurricane Sandy knocked out 25% of the cell towers in the affected regions. However, American Tower shared on their website that 48 American Tower sites responded by providing more than 113 days of power to downed sites and delivered 100% performance.
There was a total of 15 named storms between August and November in 2012 compared to only 4 named storms that occurred between May and the end of July. David Goldman of CNN reported that, “As a storm approaches, carriers ready a fleet of emergency equipment with some peculiar, farm-like names: COWs (Cells On Wheels), COLTs (Cells On Light Trucks), and GOaTs (Generators on Trailers).”
These are temporary actions to solve a potential problem, but these precautions can help when storms knock out cell towers. Most cell towers are strong enough to withstand the winds of a hurricane; however, power outages are the biggest threat to the towers. If you are looking to keep your cell tower up and running during this hurricane season then use battery backups or backup diesel generators just in case the battery does fail.
“In particularly bad storms, however, sometimes cells that have gone dark become unreachable. That’s when the cell phone companies roll out the COLTs and COWs, forming makeshift cell towers in an attempt to maintain constant coverage,” Goldman reported.
August 13, 2013 | Tower-Pro
John Dailey, 49, of Silvester, Georgia fell while working on a cell tower just south of Coats in eastern Hannett County, North Carolina. Dailey lost his balance while trying to hook a carabiner to the tower around 5:20pm. According to the deputies on the scene, by the time paramedics arrived Dailey was already dead. Dailey was working on the tower for Transmit PM LLC of Duxbury, Massachusetts.
This accident occurred just five days after a Virginia man fell from a cell tower in Waynesboro. Payman Biazarikari, 37 years old, and a native of Iran fell from a 160-foot tower on August 7, 2013.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in their National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2011 that, “fatal falls, slips, or trips took the lives of 666 workers in 2011, or about 14 percent of all fatal work injuries.” John Dailey’s death is the tenth tower fatality to occur in 2013.
August 13, 2013 | Tower-Pro
Residents of Sabana Park in the Corrales Heights area of New Mexico are working hard to keep a 70-foot cell tower out of the neighborhood. AT&T submitted an application for a permit to construct the cell tower that would be disguised as a functioning clock tower. However, the permit was denied in a 3-2 vote by the Planning and Zoning Board.
AT&T is appealing this decision by the board because they feel like the board didn’t sufficiently support its reasoning for denying the application. AT&T is willing to be flexible and revisit the size of the cell tower and see if it’s possible to construct a smaller one without compromising coverage. The residents of this community would rather not have AT&T build their new tower in the park because of health concerns and fear that it would decrease the property values.
August 8, 2013 | Tower-Pro
Yesterday in Waynesboro, Virginia a man fell about 100 feet from a cell tower that he was working on. Authorities are investigating the death of the 37-year old man. The victim’s name has not been released, but he was a contractor who worked for Summit Tower Construction in Staunton. The accident occurred behind the main plaza at nTelos’ headquarters.
August 8, 2013 | Tower-Pro
It’s not every day that an entire radio phone tower collapses and when it does, it usually raises a few eyebrows and causes some concern. Sunday, July 28th, a cell tower in Contra Costa, California collapses. Thankfully, no one was injured but police suspect that this may have been the work of vandals.
CBS San Francisco reported that, “Officers responded and found that the cables that hold the tower in place had been cut, causing it to fall, police Capt. Mark Ruppenthal said.” This tower stood just over 200-feet and was located west of San Ramon and Danville.
American Tower owns and manages over fifty thousand towers used by cell phone companies, broadcasters and emergency services
July 30, 2013 | Tower-Pro
Photo courtesy of Cape Cod Times/Merrily Cassidy
A young, male osprey was saved Wednesday, July 10, by crew members of Heidrea Communications. The osprey was trapped in a piece of plastic and was left to hang upside down for about four hours before the crew could rescue him.
Jason Kolnos reported for CapeCodOnline.com that, “The young bird apparently was being raised with a few others in a nest on top of the multi-use tower, which is owned by Crown Castle International Corp., a Houston-based tower company.”
Ospreys make their nests out of materials they find including plastic, which is how the young bird got caught in the nest. “Scott Phillipo and his colleague, Chris Townsend, said they had never rescued a bird of prey like this from a tower but used harnesses and their safety training to get the job done,” Kolnos reported.
While the members of Heidrea Communications thought the bird hadn’t survived, they were relieved to see it start moving as they got close enough to release it. The osprey was released and taken to a wildlife clinic at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University for surgery, where he will be taken care of and then released into the wild or placed in another facility.
July 29, 2013 | Tower-Pro
Residents raised concerns about plans to erect a 90-foot cell phone tower near a childcare facility in St. Peters, Missouri. The members of the St. Peters community were concerned about the impact from the electromagnetic field from the tower on the health of the children in the facility as well as the elderly.
Kalen Ponche wrote for the St. Peters Patch that, “Eric Martin, a representative for St. Charles Tower, said the tower is needed to fill in gaps in coverage for AT&T. He said this location was chosen because the tower will blend into the tree line in the area. The tower will be painted brown to look like a tree and will have faux branches designed to camouflage the antennas.”
There are no definitive studies linking negative health impacts to the electromagnetic fields from the tower and the 1996 FCC Act prevents local governments from denying cell towers because of health concerns. St. Charles Tower may come back to this city again with a proposal for another cell tower to be built in order to increase cell coverage.
July 26, 2013 | Tower-Pro