Storm Response

By: Roger Sheppard
By: Roger Sheppard

What is it about this time of year that brings big storms?

The storm that hit on July 8th, dredged up memories of the derecho that occurred on June 29, 2012, knocking out electrical power to tens of thousands of homes -- some of them for a week or more -- in a swath from the upper Midwest, through the Mid-Ohio Valley, into Virginia.

Luckily, the recent storm wasn’t nearly that bad, even though several hundred homes in our area were without power for several days.

In fact, the storm came up suddenly and disappeared almost as quickly. The highest level of notice that the National Weather Service put out was a “severe thunderstorm watch.” The storm moved too quickly and was too localized to ever get to the point of a “severe thunderstorm warning.”

But TheNewsCenter reacted quickly and comprehensively.

Meteorologist Kirk Greenfield was on vacation but our morning and noon meteorologist, Tracey Anthony, came in as she saw the storm was developing and did weather cut-ins for our PinPoint Weather channel.

That free, full-time, local weather station is on digital channel 15.4, and is carried on Suddenlink Cable channel 125. It’s also shown overnights on our My5 channel, which a lot of folks watch on cable channel 97 or 97-dash-1.

While much of downtown Parkersburg was without electricity during and after the storm, we stayed on the air virtually un-interrupted…thanks to the various electrical battery and generator systems we have installed over the years.

Our new graphics system allowed us to put a lot more information on screen during regularly scheduled programming, in addition to the alerts being put out by the Weather Service.

And our new weather graphics allowed us to give a lot more information and detail during our newscasts.

Combined with the great work of our anchors, reporters and technical staff, we were able to keep everyone (who DID have power) up-to-the minute information about what was going on, and what was coming next.

And for those who lost power but wanted to see what had happened when power was restored, we put it all on, for everyone to see, free of charge.

That’s our job here at TheNewsCenter. And it’s what we love to do.

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