UPDATE Sat: KLPZ is back on-air.
A major lightning storm destroyed the transmitter at KLPZ 1380am earlier this week. According to KLPZ’s engineer, a lightning strike “fried everything”, immediately putting the popular Parker radio station off the air and in need of replacement parts.
Although there are usually protections from such incidents, this time the damage is permanent, meaning that KLPZ will need a new transmitter. Station manager Keith Learn said the station should be back on the air this weekend, with live shows starting again on Monday morning.
Listeners are used to hearing live, local personalities every weekday, but the incident happened on a rare week when some of the staff are on vacation, so there was less of an interruption than would normally be the case. Still, tuning to 1380am this week leaves people hearing static, which is odd. The station has been fielding calls from regular listeners since the storm, from I-10 to I-40 and everywhere in between.
The last time KLPZ’s transmitter was replaced, it was in the late 1990s when a truck accidentally drove into the 180-feet tall broadcast tower near 6th Street in Parker, leading to a big shutdown and a replacement transmitter and tower. This time, a temporary replacement will be installed within a few days and a permanent one later.
The storm responsible for the outage also flooded streets and set a palm tree on fire, while giving residents of Parker and Lake Havasu City a spectacular light show to watch.