After being flooded out of their station, KHOU employees are stocking up on supplies

With her staff working round-the-clock to cover catastrophic news and engineers busy fixing up the studio, the last thing Susan McEldoon wants to worry about is food.That's why McEldoon, the president and general manager of Houston TV station KHOU, has stocked a giant pantry at the station's temporary digs (their permanent studio flooded on Sunday). The small act of stacking case after case of food for workers to grab as they pound away on keyboards or load up for another shift in the field has raised morale.

Today was the first day many workers at the station were able to sleep in their own homes, said Russ Lewis, morning anchor at KHOU. He slept two nights in edit bays. Staffers are working 12-hour shifts, so it's crucial that the station provides its employees hot food.

Viewers are using social media to ask the journalists if they need help bringing food to the station, Lewis said. KHOU is working out of the local PBS station temporarily after the Buffalo Bayou flooded the station while it was covering the emergency on the air.

Reporters and photojournalists have told him that lots of people have offered food and coffee to crews in the field and thanked them for their work, he said.

"Bagels are always the first thing to disappear," Lewis said. "The crews heading back out in the weather just need something to take with them that's fast and easy to carry."

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    Al Tompkins

    Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. He has taught thousands of journalists, journalism students and educators in newsrooms around the world.


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