Monday, June 09, 2014
Sunday Night's Tornado and Sirens
8:45AM Tuesday Update... A few years ago, I sent an email to every Emergency Manager in the state and asked them to briefly describe their tornado siren policy. I published all the responses received here on the blog. You can read them by clicking on the tab "TORNADO SIREN POLICY" in the navigation bar above.
I'm going to deviate from the regular forecasting and get this off my chest. Remember, this blog is a reflection of my views and not necessarily the views of KATV
Let's first start off with the tornado warning issued Sunday night for Pulaski and Saline counties. I saw this starting to wrap up on radar at the same time the Spurs and the Heat were in the final minutes of Game 2. I'll be honest, I was sweating it out. I knew if I broke into programming, the phones would light up, the emails would pour in, and social media would erupt. That's just the way it is. I was hoping the game would end before any tornado warning was issued, but that's not the way it happened. Before the warning was ever issued, I talked to our weekend director, Tyrone. I asked him to put any tornado coverage in a "double box". That means half the screen would be tornado coverage and the other half the game. Our production crew on the weekends, led by Tyrone, are the absolute best. He did it quickly and we were ready if anything happened... and it did. I make no apologies for interrupting the game. I didn't want to do it, but at the end of the day, it's about lives, and not a game. I'll take the heat.. pun intended there. To be honest, I haven't had too many complaints, but there have been a few. Believe me, I wanted to watch the game too!
So during the coverage of the tornado warning, my twitter feed was lighting up with people asking why sirens were going off in areas NOT under the tornado warning. This is the next issue I want to address. I still have no idea why sirens are sounded over areas NOT under a warning. I have no control over the sirens and the National Weather Service office doesn't either. They act in an advisory role for Pulaski county. Emergency Managers in each county have their own rules about sounding them. Today (Monday) Justin Lewis asked the Emergency Management Director in Pulaski county why they sounded the sirens in areas not under the warning. Here's his story....
Posted by Todd Yakoubian on Monday, June 09, 2014