February 11, 2008

KREM-TV Responds to Record Snowstorms With The Big Dig

SPOKANE, WA -- Responding to near-record snowstorms across eastern Washington, KREM-TV mobilized hundreds of KREM Cares volunteers recently for The Big Dig, an extraordinary display of community spirit to dig out the hardest hit areas of The Inland Northwest.

With portions of Washington and Idaho in a state of emergency, state and local road crews were overwhelmed clearing the largest highways and major roads. Many residential streets and neighborhoods remained snowbound. KREM-TV issued calls to action in newscasts and on KREM.com. Nearly 200 volunteers responded, gathering at five community locations with shovels, snow blowers, plows and heavy equipment to free residents from heavy snow. Big Dig volunteers fanned out into hard-hit areas, with special attention given to the elderly, disabled, and low-income. Volunteers also assisted emergency crews by clearing fire hydrants buried under several feet of drifting snow.

Viewers reported that hundreds of additional volunteers answered the call in their own neighborhoods. Residents nominated Big Dig Heroes on KREM.com, praising individuals, families and companies who came to the aid of homes buried by heavy snowfall.

"As a local television station, we have a deep obligation to serve the needs of our community, especially in such extraordinary circumstances," said Jamie Aitken, president and general manager of KREM-TV, KSKN-TV and KREM.com. "We can't say enough about the incredible volunteers who came to the aid of friends and strangers alike. It has been a remarkable experience."

The Big Dig exemplifies the station's "KREM Cares" community focus, providing opportunities for employees and residents to support and build stronger families and neighborhoods.