Friday, May 09, 2008

Greensboro Tornado
By the Numbers

14 hours, 13 live shots, 3 packages, 4 looklives, 2 phoners, 40 oz of Vault(drinks like a soda...) and one small pack of donuts later I'm back at home running on empty after being up 33 hours with no sleep.

And it's all just part of the job.

Tornado Damage Greensboro (7)

As the storms built around the Piedmont last night all I could do is sit at home and watch along with everyone else in TV Land as my station spent prime time in uninterupted, commercial free weather(gasm).(for 8 hours)

The thought going through my head....would this be the night I would get a late call to hit the road.

This thought happens often(OK Every storm:)).

In the winter it's Snow and Ice. In the Summer it's hurricanes. But in the Spring it's severe Thunderstorms and the possibility of Tornadoes.

I watched the radar and listened, almost ready to hit the sack when a tornado hit the town of Advance and Clemmons and damage reports started to trickle in.

I didn't have to go there as my co-worker, Photojournalist Kenny "Bluedog" Cravens, lives in that area and I knew he had it covered.

But when I saw a radar image near Kernersville around 11:30 I got the gut feeling that I sometimes get. I said outloud to my wife, 'That's going to be bad".

5 minutes later the station called sending me to I-40 for two tractor trailers overturned.

What I heard on my scanner told me this was a big deal. Multiple reports of cars overturned. Buildings with walls collapsed. Airplanes pushed around the PTIA tarmac. A truck overturned with an entrapment...that turned out to be deadly.

I drove around West Greensboro all night getting as much video as I could and I even did a live report at 1AM with all the video I could squeeze on the air in 3 minutes.

Tornado Damage Greensboro (8)

But it wasn't until daybreak that the reality of what happened set in.

Tornado Damage Greensboro (6)

Large trees toppled like bowing pins.

Tornado Damage Greensboro (14)

Tall Pines snapped like toothpicks.

Tornado Damage Greensboro (4)

A 200 yard wide swath of woods mowed over like a patch of briers.

Tornado Damage Greensboro (9)

The pictures don't do it's impossible to show everything.

Tornado Damage Greensboro (1)

It's just a miracle that this is where the funnel cloud chose to touchdown. A few miles in any other direction would have been disaster for this area.

Here's my Liveshot...

(Our Coverage)

1 comment:

newshutr said...

Yeah...tornadoes at night. Trying to get your best b-roll in total darkness. Gotta love that.

Hey, Chris!! Shoot me your e-mail address. I have a question to ask you.