Steve Hunt, senior editor at SGVT, and the staff made the best out of a bad situation when a dangerous wind stormripped through their

Screenshot: The staff at SGVT created photo galleries of wind damage.

coverage area. While the main office was without power in West Covina, Calif., Hunt said the staff didn’t need a newsroom and proved “that we have not only embraced a digital-first mentality, but also that we serve our communities much better than our competitors online.” The SGVT staff worked with sister paper Pasadena Star-News in the coverage.

The online team of Erick Galindo and Daniel Tedford launched a crowdsourced community map and readers shared their stories of damage. In a four-day period, the Google Map had 170,000 hits. Traffic to the site was nearly tripled during the widespread storm coverage, with use of social media, the website, e-mail alerts and so on to promote coverage.

In addition to staff multimedia and stories, videos filed by community members were also posted. The staff used Scribd to publish documents related to the storm.

The morale in the newsroom was boosted, he also said. The staff members “were just motivated to do the best job they could covering a big local disaster that affected most of our readers,” Hunt said.

Since the windstorm, Hunt has filled an open position with a backpack journalist.