Sunday, November 19, 2006

Breaking Wind

A tornado claimed the life of a St. Helena parish man, and I was first on the scene.

Another week on call, and I'm wondering how much sleep I'm going to lose out on this time. It should be a slow week for call, since Ken Brumfield had a busy week last week. I'm really glad we switched weeks.

I'm fully expecting to be called out early Wednesday morning, because severe weather will be coming through in the wee hours. Tornado watches are in effect until daybreak. It's not until 7:00 am that I'm called to travel to Hillsdale damage. Ok, but where is Hillsdale? After four years in this market I've only traveled to about half of its out-of-the-way towns and communities, and Hillsdale isn't on any map I've got in the XTerra.

C-squared gives me some directions over the Nextel, and I'm off. An hour later I run into Deputy Ricard and he leads me on a tour of the damage, starting with the scene of the only death in the state caused by last night's weather. Ironically the man had left the travel trailer he usually lives in to stay in the house. Ironic because his trailer was untouched, and the house was destroyed. As I take in the damage and fire off shots, I notice that I seem to be the only media here. I might have been beaten by a town paper, but I beat all the major outlets by nearly two hours.

Kenny B and Chatty are on their way with our combo truck, so I grab the rest of the damage I can get to and meet them back at the scene. I switch to truck op and beam our live shots back to the station via satellite for the rest of the afternoon, with one brief interview with the Governor at 5:30 pm while Ken edits the package for six.

The story lead Noon, Four, and Five, and we were live at Six with a VOSOT at Ten. The best part is that we beat all the Baton Rouge and New Orleans media to the story. Oh, and that other Baton Rouge station didn't even show up. While we were live at Noon, they were reporting AP wire copy.

Click here for the Noon live shot.

1 comment:

turdpolisher said...

Touchee O,

Thought we dropped the ball on that one. But I wasn't in on the meetings to push for it. It never pissed me off once...see how the dark side changes a man.