As one of our first strong thunderstorms of the season was rolling through last night I heard my phone beeping a new message.
It was 10 p.m., and I had a missed call, voicemail and text message from our lead page designer Kerri Pankratz. That can never be good at this hour.
The York News-Times is printed in Grand Island at our sister paper The Grand Island Independent. All of our pages need to be sent to Grand Island and ready to print by 10:20 p.m. Hence a call at 10 p.m. is generally never good news.
Like much of the City of York and surrounding area, the News-Times office had lost power and gone completely dark. With no power we had no access to the internet or more importantly our servers where the pages were at. Additionally, with no power in our building we could not access our servers regardless of location – believe me we tried!
After running through countless scenarios and many phone calls and text messages to Grand Island and amongst our team in York, we were left with no choice but to simply wait. Our hauler that makes the trip to Grand Island was already there, so he too waited.
At 1:20 a.m., with the Grand Island folks done with their paper and needing to clean up for the night and nearly 3 ½ hours waiting we moved to plan Z – print in the morning. This ended up being the right decision as we did not gain power back until 4 a.m.
By 6 a.m., text messages and phone calls were off and running as we worked to get our machines back online to be ready to print by the time the morning folks in Grand Island came in at 8 a.m., and get messages out to our readers about the delay in the print delivery and e-edition.
YorkNewsTimes.com has never proven itself more than it did last night and this morning. Our 600,000 average pageviews per month let us know that our community finds great value in reading online and its reliability was proven last night. It did not miss a beat and today’s stories were up and ready to be read.
All of the York New-Times printed papers arrived back in York at 10:45 a.m. Many of you received Thursday’s paper today, thank you for your patience. Our contracted carriers have careers, appointments and families during the day as we all do so while delivery wasn’t immediate upon its arrival in York we are happy to still bring it to you!
To all of our subscribers that called, thank you for your kindness and understanding. The volume of calls was overwhelming and it is great to know and be reminded how much you value the York News-Times. We are very grateful to be a part of your daily life.
Kerri Pankratz has worked for the York News-Times for over 25 years and through all the storms, snow and ice, she has never encountered this. Believe me, we don’t plan on making it a habit, and while we very much understand, appreciate and value the importance of what we do in our community I am beyond thankful we are simply talking about a delay in newsprint.
And thank goodness for the internet!