First off, I'm not that upset about this... but I wanted to share my side of the story before it hits the newspaper.
Last night, after staying on the air for severe weather for an extended amount of time, we went back to regular programming. The tornado warning had not expired for Mississippi County, but we felt the storms were weakening and were not tornadic. We continued to show the map in the corner of the screen and we continued to crawl the information at the bottom of the screen. We even cut-in a few more times between the prime time shows to give some updates.
While the Doppler radar showed the storms weakening, I still monitored any Storm Spotter reports, in case a funnel cloud was reported. No reports were coming in.
Between the cut-ins, a reporter from the local Blytheville newspaper called the Region 8 Storm Center. She said that there was rotation over Gosnell and Division Street. Being that she named a specific street, I asked if there was damage. She said no, but law enforcement saw rotation over these areas.
She was upset that we were not on-air, but the data did not backup her reports. I'm sorry, but we get bogus reports all of the time, even from journalists! To our knowledge, we did not have any "trained" spotters seeing rotation.
I gave her my direct line to the Storm Center and to my office. I told her to immediately call me, if damage was reported. I did not want the damage reports to pass along to the newsroom for video purposes! I wanted the information to validate a tornado and I would go on air and warn people! Apparently she misunderstood me when I asked about damage.
For the record, a tornado was NOT reported in Mississippi County according to the NWS. No major damage was reported either. There was only some minor damage to some power lines and small trees. This was likely caused by the gust front.
Anywho, apparently there is going to be an article in the newspaper about KAIT, our coverage, and me. I don't know when it will be printed, but I wanted to tell my side of the story on my blog. From what I understand, the reporter misunderstood our conversation.
The reporter with the newspaper in Blytheville also has a blog and she ripped me apart pretty good. You can click here to read it for yourself.
If the rumor is true, I may get to see my first "negative" newspaper article. I'm not sure how I will get a copy of it though...
Have a great night!
PS- I was not at work tonight because we still have family in town. I was suppose to be off work last night, but the weather got bad!
My brother and sister-in-law (and their 3 girls) leave tomorrow morning. He leaves for Iraq in two weeks. We have really had a great time visiting. It would have been nice to have good weather though! Please keep all of them in your prayers.