WCAX brings in specialized team to help fix transmitter tower

STOWE, Vt. (WCAX) Nearly 90 percent of WCAX-TV viewers who use a paid service are back online after a fire at our transmitter tower in Stowe. Our Cat Viglienzoni has an update on our repair efforts.

We estimate we have service restored to about 87 percent of those of you who don't use our over-the-air signal thanks to work from our engineers and other partners.

The fire on Tuesday at our antenna tower knocked out our over-the-air signal. And we're still trying to figure out the best fix for it.

Specialized crews we flew in from out-of-state climbed up that 190-foot tower on Thursday to assess the damage. Only with that assessment can we get a sense of what options we might have to fix it.

Part of what we also have to consider are the conditions on top of Mount Mansfield with its ice and snow. Whatever fix we do has to be able to safely withstand that.

But we did get some key approvals on Thursday that we needed to begin work on the mountain, which we expect will start on Friday. Though with 50 mph wind gusts expected on the mountain, it will be work done on the ground to prepare for whichever fix we choose.

"You know, if we can't climb to start working anyway, let's take advantage of this day to make sure we have narrowed in on the best option that's going to do the best job for the most amount of people," said Jay Barton, the vice president and general manager of WCAX-TV.

And we want to give a shout-out to the Stowe Mountain Resort's snowmaking crew. They helped us get the replacement antenna up to the top of the mountain Wednesday night! As we told you Wednesday, with the toll road closed because of snow, the only way up is with tracked vehicles.

The Channel 3 signal is now back on the Dish Network, DIRECTV, Xfinity/Comcast and Charter/Spectrum-- that reaches about 80 percent of our audience. You can also watch our news streaming live on our website and mobile app.