6:30 AM, Tuesday October 23, 2007.
WKRG-5 news in Mobile, Alabama-about fifty miles or so from I live-is reporting that a tornado has possibly been spotted and that a high area of circulation consistent with tornado activity is swirling around the area of Lillian, Alabama, moving in a northeast direction. I take notice because I live not too terribly far northeast of Lillian, Al. Hoping to find something more about this potential for damage-especially in light of a tornado touching down in Pensacola just a week earlier, I turn to my town’s local station WEAR-TV 3. On their morning news show: nothing.
6:35 AM, Tuesday October 23, 2007.
WKRG-5 is now showing the Doppler radar track of the storm in which the circulation is taking place. They begin showing a list of affected neighborhoods and an approximate time in which the area of circulation could hit. My area is listed on there with a target time of 6:58 for the possible tornado to hit. A tornado had been reported as spotted in Lillian and a water spout was spotted at Perdido Beach. I turn to WEAR-TV 3 for further confirmation. Rather than giving any indication that they are even aware that a tornado may be bearing down on a part of the Pensacola community not two miles from their location, they are instead showing the footage of last week’s tornado once again.
6:50 AM Tuesday October 23 2007.
The sky is dark and threatening to the west; an eerie yellow glow illuminates the east. Clouds are swirling with a ferocious intensity. WKRG-5 continues to update on a minute by minute basis where the area of circulation is heading. WEAR-TV, meanwhile, is at commercial.
6:55 AM Tuesday October 23 2007.
The eerie glow has dissipated but as I look in the direction of Lillian, AL, I see enormous thunderclouds. The circulatory lower clouds continue to spiral around my house. WKRG-5 remains vigilant in updating residents of the town in which they are not even located to be aware of a threatening potential. Meanwhile, the local station in the town-situated within the potential track of a tornado-is, once again, showing footage from last week’s tornado. For all intensive purposes, they do not even seem remotely aware that a tornado has been reported in Lillian, AL nor that the area of circulation responsible for that tornado is heading straight for them.
6:59 AM Tuesday October 23 2007.
WEAR-TV is about to throw the reins to Good Morning America. At last they are doing local weather. There is no mention of a tornado. The deadline passes for the potential of a tornado to hit and the tornado warning from the NWS is not renewed.
WEAR-TV: Where You Want to Turn If You Have No Interest in News Happening in Pensacola.