The spring storm season can bring a storm of e-mails and telephone calls to the KAKE Newsroom.
The spring storm season can bring a storm of e-mails and telephone calls to the KAKE Newsroom. Last night was no exception. Tornado warnings were issued for parts of KAKEland. Unfortunately, the warnings happened while "Dancing With The Stars" was on the air. Here are a few of the comments I received and my responses.
"We really do not need continous weather coverage when the storms are west of us. I know you have stations in that area. Why do you not use them?"
Response--she's right, we do have stations in Garden City, Hays, Colby, Great Bend and Salina where we can split storm coverage, allowing other viewers to watch other programming. In last night's case the tornado warned storms were in the area served by KAKE. The KAKE coverage area is roughly the western boundaries of Pratt, Stafford and Barber Counties.
"C'mon Guys, 25 minutes of weather interruption? Are you kidding me? He (Jay Prater) tried to stop 3 times, because he had nothing else to say. You forced him to continue."
Response--We trust Jay and the other meteorologists to determine the potential threat to our viewers. No one forces them to continue. It is very common to see Jay end his coverage before the warning expires because he doesn't see the threat, or the warning is over a lightly populated area.
"When weather men continue beating a dead horse into the ground it’s seems that selling points and ratings bigger issue."
Response--Interrupting a popular show like "Dancing With The Stars" is not good for business, particularly during a ratings period like we're in now. Our priority is protecting the public, including warning them to threatening weather near their homes.
I also received a couple of e-mails from viewers who felt we didn't provide enough storm coverage for their areas.
I count on hearing from viewers when our meteorologists interrupt regular programming for storm coverage. I'll never forget the calls I received the night of May 4, 2007. How dare I interrupt the final twenty minutes of "20/20" for a storm warning. That was the tornado that hit Greensburg, Kansas.